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Unit information: Contemporary Literature in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Contemporary Literature
Unit code ENGLM0038
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Theo Savvas
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Literature today is marked by its diversity. Globalisation, technology, terrorism, and ecological awareness have all shaped how writers are representing the world. At the same time, literature as a discipline has been reshaped by the emergence of new critical approaches, such as postcolonialism and postmodernism, and new theories of sexuality and gender, and race and ethnicity. In this unit we will consider a selection of primary texts written in English after 1970, and including prose and poetry, which address such issues. We will study a range of writers which may include Linton Kwesi Johnson, Zadie Smith, Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter, Geoffrey Hill, Tom McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Marilynne Robinson.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. A broadened experience of the range and variety of writing from the period 1970 to the present.

2. Improved independent critical thinking about literature of the period.

3. A maturing ability to apply critical, social and cultural contexts to the discussion of contemporary writing.

4. Developing an appropriate style of critical writing for the discussion and analysis of contemporary writing in English.

5. Improving existing skills through independent reading, reasearch and writing on specific texts and topics.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. These can include seminars, lectures, class discussions, formative tasks, small group work, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 x 4000 word summative assignment (100%) [ILOs 1-6] 1000 word presentation


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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.