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Unit information: Making it Anew: Ancient Stories and Creative Writing in 2021/22

Unit name Making it Anew: Ancient Stories and Creative Writing
Unit code ENGL10060
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ian Calvert
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores the ways in which contemporary writers reimagine ancient myths and stories from classical literature in novels, poetry, young adult fiction and films. It will explore how writers’ engagement with previous narratives reveals their creative choices and present-day concerns. Interactive lectures and workshops will give students an introduction to the practice of creative writing and give students an opportunity to develop their own creative writing.

When exploring contemporary literature and films, particular attention will be paid to the dialogue between ancient and modern constructions of gender and sexuality, and how contemporary adaptations of the classics seek to reclaim and foreground voices that are marginalised, ignored, or suppressed. Literary texts to be discussed may include: Colm Toibin’s House of Names, Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, Madeline Miller’s Circe, Alice Oswald’s Memorial and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson 'and The Lightning Thief. Films may include Joel Coen and Ethan Coen’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Students will have the opportunity to submit up to 700 words of draft material of their essay / creative writing and get feedback on this.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a diverse range of creative responses to classical stories and myths;
  2. Critically analyse a range of creative writing that draws on classical myths and stories;
  3. Critically reflect on creative writing processes based on classical materials;
  4. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the practice of creative writing as it relates to ancient stories and myths.

Teaching Information

2 x one-hour lectures per week

1 x one-hour workshop / interactive lecture

Assessment Information

For this unit, students will complete one written assignment of 2,500 words (100% of the unit mark). The unit will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

The assessment will either be:

1. One 2,500-essay (100%) [ILOs 1-4].


2. One 2,500-word work of creative writing (100%) [ILOs 1-4].


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGL10060).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.