Full-time students will take 2 courses in each Terms 1 and 2; and write a dissertation in Term 3 and across the summer vacation. Part-time students normally take the 2 course units in terms 1 and 2 of their first year, 2 more in the second and also write their dissertation during the second year.
Term 1: Modernism, Modernity and History
This unit comprises a series of seminars on such topics as Modernism and the avant-garde; modernity, mass culture and technology; race, gender and primitivism; modernism and politics. You will be introduced to various modernist movements (Futurism, Imagism, Surrealism) and to the ways in which Modernism has been conceptualized in relation to modernity.
Term 2: Modernist Special Topics
The course for 2014 contains two five-week components. The first provides an advanced introduction to the relationship between avant-garde prose and politics in the 1930s. The second will explore the re-appropriation and re-tooling of modernist aesthetic strategies by a range of contemporary African writers to address the crises of the post-colonial state and of post-colonial subjectivity. You will engage with the work of a number of post-colonial theorists and investigate a range of key texts by African writers.
Term 1: Contemporary Literature
The course will address a range of literary works which engage with such topics as globalisation, transnationalism, and global terror as well as magic realism, postmodernism and Conceptual Writing. You will consider contemporary fiction, poetry, post-colonial writing and writing across media as part of an exploration of the contemporary.
Term 2: Contemporary Special Topics
The course for 2014 contains two five-week components on contemporary fiction and contemporary poetry respectively. The first provides an advanced introduction to the fictional writings about globalisation and mobility.
The second provides an advanced introduction to the work of selected contemporary women poets. You will read these texts in the context of current debates in innovative poetics and in relation to modernist strategies of avant-garde practice by previous women writers. You will explore how these contemporary poets have utilised, adapted and/or transformed modernist strategies of practice and to what ends.
You will write a dissertation of 12-15,000 words on an approved topic, during the summer term and summer vacation, with support from a tutor.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
- achieved an understanding of the intertwined issues of modernity, modernism and the contemporary as they are reflected in literary and theoretical writings in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries
- improved their literary, analytic and research skills at an advanced level
- shown themselves able to work independently on an extended research project
- provided the platform for further postgraduate work, should they wish to undertake it.