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Unit information: Reception Studies in 2015/16

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Unit name Reception Studies
Unit code MODLM0024
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Zajko
Open unit status Open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides students with an understanding of the field of Reception Studies, its history and value, and its potential relationships with Comparative Literature and cultures as a mode of studying the relationships between texts. Is reception a discipline or methodology? Does it refer to a specific period or a reading practice, a mode of analysis and interpretation? With its roots in literary hermeneutics 'reception theory' was developed as a literary critical method which took as its focus the analysis of texts but many current practitioners of reception have more in common with the fields of cultural studies or intellectual history and the very different methodological assumptions which underpin them. This unit will explore the various methodological fault-lines which run through reception studies by looking closely at some of the programmatic statements of its theorists and scholars and at some specific textual case studies from a variety of historical periods, societies and media ranging from antiquity to the present day.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to have acquired:

a) an understanding of different methodological approaches to studying reception and an ability to implement those approaches in practice.

b) an awareness of the various historical and contextual factors (including religion, politics, gender and sexuality) that contribute to the receptions of a variety of canonical texts and figures in different historical periods, societies and media.

c) an ability to analyse critical and poetic responses to verbal and visual texts from a historical and cultural perspective

d) an increased awareness of their own historically situated standpoint in the interpretation of literatures and cultures.

Teaching Information

Seminar presentations and discussions

Assessment Information

One 5,000 word essay, testing ILOs a-d.

Reading and References

T.S. Eliot 'What is a Classic' (1944)

Hardwick, L. Reception Studies [Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics No 33] (2003)

Jauss, H.R. Toward an Aesthetic of Reception (1982)

Machor, J. & Goldstein, P. (eds) Reception Study: From Literary Theory to Cultural Studies (2001)

Martindale, C. Redeeming the Text: Latin Poetry and the Hermeneutics of Reception (1993).

Lianeri, A & Zajko, V. (eds) Translation and the Classic: Identity as Change in the History of Culture (2008)