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Unit information: Reading Identities in 2021/22

Unit name Reading Identities
Unit code ENGL10062
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Harris
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit considers how writers and critics understand, represent, re-imagine and challenge different facets or frameworks of identity. It is concerned with identity in multiple forms, including complex and urgent questions of gender, sexuality, and race, as well as different understandings of authorship and a range of narrative styles. It will introduce students to a portfolio of works from the 18th to the 21st century, driven by themes and concepts rather than chronology. Students can expect to encounter poetry, non-fiction prose, critical theory, and the novel, as well as documentary and graphic novel texts. They will develop skills in close reading, and also engage with perspectives from secondary research and contextual analysis. The unit aims to share a diverse syllabus and encourage thoughtful discussion, as students gain confidence in their ability to trace patterns between the selected texts and key ideas, building connections and drawing on a complex, comparative understanding that will prepare them for later study (in particular, I/5 period units Literature 1740-1900 and Literature 1900-present and H/6 trans-historical units). Possible themes for study include: life and writing; intersectionality; masculinity; anger; pleasure and pain; faith; and family.

This unit therefore aims to:

  • introduce students to a diverse range of literary genres;
  • encourage students to engage with themes and ideas relating to the question of identity;
  • develop students' abilities in the close reading of texts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key writers across a wide time period and an understanding of their historical contexts.
  2. Apply understanding of historical, cultural and intellectual contexts to readings of literary works.
  3. Discriminate between different critical perspectives and their effects on literary form.
  4. Identify and present pertinent evidence to develop a cogent argument.
  5. Demonstrate skills in textual analysis, argumentation, and critical interpretation using evidence from primary texts and secondary sources.
  6. Contribute to group tasks and discussions and demonstrate skills in presentation.

Teaching Information

Teaching will involve asynchronous and synchronous elements, including long- and short-form lectures, group discussion, research and writing activities, and peer dialogue. Students are expected to engage with the reading and participate fully with the weekly tasks and topics. Learning will be further supported through the opportunity for individual consultation.

Assessment Information

Formative Assessments:

1 x group project [ILOs 1-6]

Summative Assessments:

3 x 700 words of short exercises (100%) [ILOs 1-5]


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. ENGL10062).

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.