Module Identifier EN33730  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr William G Slocombe  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr Michael J Smith  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours. Seminar. (10 x 2 hr seminar workshops)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 x 3000 word essays100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected.100%

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

1. describe and appraise the main theories of and debates within postmodernism;

2. relate theories and practices of postmodernism to set texts;

3. describe the broad effects of postmodern devices on literary and cultural forms;

4. apply examples from the arguments of principal exponents of postmodern theory;

5. comment critically on the material chosen for study;

6. engage in coherent oral discussion of the texts and background material;

7. write about the subject in a well-structured and argued manner.

Brief description

Currently a buzz word, everything appears to be 'postmodern': the clothes you wear, the houses in which we live and the culture with which we engage. This option will focus on the theories and practices of postmodernism.

The module will focus principally on literary examples of postmodernism, but attention will also be paid to other areas of cultural practice, such as film, visual art, and architecture. The seminar pattern will follow a series of thematic interests, which centre upon the characteristic features of postmodern practice, as well as considering some of the theoretical essays of the principal exponents of postmodern theory.



Seminar 1: Theories of Postmodernism

Seminar 2: Erasing Worlds?

Seminar 3: Deconstructing Fiction

Seminar 4: Poetry in the Age of Electronic Reproduction

Seminar 5: Desire, Simulacra, and Spectacles

Seminar 6: Feminism/Postmodernism

Seminar 7: Architecture and Urbanicity

Seminar 8: Magic Realism

Seminar 9: Other Worlds

Seminar 10: Postmodern and Film


There is currently a vast proliferation of texts and studies of postmodernism and its various impacts upon spheres of our society. There is a good selection of the principal texts in the Hugh Owen Library (and this is well supplemented by texts in the National Library). Additional bibliographies concerning individual writers will be compiled and given to students on a weekly basis. The Hugh Owen Library has large holdings on most of the authors represented on this course (including writers not mentioned but nevertheless prominent in postmodern culture).

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Auster, Paul (1987) The New York Trilogy Faber 0571152236
Carter, Angela (1982) The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman Penguin 0140120289
Gibson, William (1986) Neuromancer Harper Collins 0586066454
Pynchon, Thomas (1967) The Crying of Lot 49 Cape
Rushdie, Salman (1995) Midnight's Children David Campbell 1857152174
Russ, Joanna (1994) The Female Man Women's Press 0704347377
** Recommended Text
Woods, Tim (1999) Beginning Postmodernism Manchester University Press 0719052106
** Supplementary Text
Bertens, Hans, and Joseph Natoli. (2002) Postmodernism: The Key Figures Blackwell 0631217975
Callinicos, Alex (2002) Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique Polity Press 074560613X
Docherty, Thomas, ed. (1993) Postmodernism: A Reader Harvester Wheatsheaf 0745012426
Hassan, Ihab (1971) The Dismemberment of Orpheus: Toward a Postmodern Literature Oxford University Press
Lucy, Niall (2000) Postmodern Literary Theory: An Anthology Blackwell 9780631227731
Malpas, Simon (2005) The Postmodern Routledge 0415280648
Sardar, Ziauddin (2002) The A-Z of Postmodern Life: Essays on Global Culture in the Noughties Vision 1904132030


This module is at CQFW Level 6