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Unit information: Literature in its Time 5: Twentieth Century Poetry and Prose in 2015/16

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Unit name Literature in its Time 5: Twentieth Century Poetry and Prose
Unit code ENGL30026
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Varga
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will introduce poetry and prose written in the period from 1900 to 2000. Students will be encouraged to read a range of works; to compare and contrast the use of a variety of forms by different writers; and to place these writings in the context of literary, political, historical, scientific and other developments in this period.


This unit will aim to extend students knowledge of a range of poetry written between 1850 and 1960. Students will be encouraged to consider in depth the careers of individual poets and to compare the use of particular forms by different writers. The progression from the Victorian period to Modernism will be introduced, as will topics such as the poetry of war and movements such as The Movement. The unit aims to extend students ongoing appreciation of the chronology and historical development of literature in English.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will have had an opportunity to read a wide range of works written across the period from 1900 to 2000, and to consider questions of authorship, form, historical context, literary movements, and war.

Teaching details

The unit will normally be taught in ten three-hour seminars, which will utilise a range of teaching methods including lectures by the tutor(s), formal and informal presentations by students, and small group discussion.

Assessment Details

Students will be required to write one essay for formal assessment, of 3,500 to 4,500 words; the mark for this essay will be the unit mark.

Reading and References

  • T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • Elizabeth Jennings, Selected Poems
  • Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children