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Unit information: Introduction to Literature and Community Engagement 1 in 2015/16

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Unit name Introduction to Literature and Community Engagement 1
Unit code ENGL10103
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Smallwood
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is designed to introduce students to the uses of literature in community settings and to engagement work with the public more widely. Through seminars with experts in these fields (both in Bristol and nationally), students will have an opportunity to gain insight into the developing regional and national agenda related to universities, learning, and community outreach, and to develop practical skills for running a reading group as part of their future studies.


This unit aims to give students a firm grounding in both the principles and practices of community engagement, as understood within and outside universities, and especially as related to the field of literary study and the related area of literacy. This unit is intended to give students a theoretical grounding that will assist them in running a reading group in the community later in their studies.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will have had an opportunity to gain insight into a variety of approaches to community engagement, and will have been introduced to the relevance of such work to literary study. There will have been an introduction to theoretical issues relevant to work in later units, where students will establish a reading group in the community.

Teaching Information

This unit will be taught through five one-hour seminars across the year, each linked to a one-hour reflective discussion (including practical exercises) led by a tutor.

Assessment Information

Students will be assessed through a reflective diary (normally of 2,800 to 4,000 words), responding to each of the seminars and to a series of directed questions and exercises relevant to them.

Reading and References

  • Susan Danielson and Ann Marie Fallon, Community-Based Learning and the Work of Literature (Wiley, 2008).
  • Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Fourth Estate, 2004).
  • Amy Scott-Douglass, Shakespeare Inside: The Bard Behind Bars (Continuum, 2007).