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ML2206 Histories of Representation

x 2 classes per week Term 2


Dr Ruth Cruickshank

Tutors: Dr Daniela Ceremonia and Dr Ruth Cruickshank


Exam (60%)

Coursework(30%) one summative essay comparing at least two aesthetic trends of 1,500-2,000 words (plus one formative commentary focusing on one aesthetic trend of 1,250-1,500 words)

Group presentation assessment: (10%)


2 hours a week in Term 2; one lecture and one seminar each week


Comparing short stories from different periods and geographical areas is a great way of exploring how literature evolves structurally and thematically in response to different ideas and contexts. In this course we read short stories – and look at examples of visual art - from the eighteenth century to the present day to discover what structural and symbolic elements characterize major aesthetic trends of Western art including the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism and Postmodernism. All non-English-language texts are in English translation. These are explored both individually and in comparison, developing skills in close reading and comparative critical analysis and the ability to recognize and contrast different features of fiction and to situate evolving literary aesthetics in their historical context.

 Key Primary Bibliography

Set Texts:

Primary reading for 2016-17 (available on Moodle)

E.T.A Hoffmann, ‘The Sandman’ (1816)

Edgar Allen Poe, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (1839)

Anton Chekov, ‘The Darling’ (1898)

Guy de Maupassant, ‘The Necklace’ (1884)

James Joyce, ‘Araby’ (1914)

Katherine Mansfield, ‘Bliss’ (1918)

John Barth, 'Lost in the Funhouse' (1968) 

Italo Calvino, 'The Count of Monte Cristo' (1967)

Other excerpts from works of secondary reading are also compulsory for all students and are available on Moodle.

Secondary Literature: General, Theoretical, Introductory

Ann Charters, The Story and its Writer (London: Bedford/St Martins, 2002)

Valerie Shaw, The Short Story: A Critical Introduction (London and New York: Longman, 1983)

Scholes, Klaus, Comely, Silverman, eds, Elements of Literature: Essay, Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Film (London and New York: OUP, 1991)

Martin Travers, An Introduction to Modern European Literature (Basingstoke and London: Macmillan, 1998)

Clifton Fadiman, ed, The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection (London: Pan, 1986)

Gloria K. Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition, Book 5: Romanticism, Realism, and the Nineteenth-Century World(McGraw-Hill, 2010)

Gloria K. Fiero, The Humanistic Tradition, Book 6: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Global Perspective  (McGraw-Hill, 2010)

 Stuart Sim, The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism (Routledge Companions) (Routledge: 2011) 

Lawrence E. Cahoone, From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology Expanded (Chichester: Wiley, 2003)

Glenn Ward, Understand Postmodernism: A Teach Yourself Guide  (McGraw-Hill, 2011)

Simon Malpas, ed. The Routledge Companion to Critical Theory (Routledge Companions) (Routledge: 2011)



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