Specialisation 2: Self, Others and the Literary World

This specialisation explores the interrelation between self and community in literary texts spanning the medieval to the present day. It offers students the opportunity to delve into the fictional worlds of historical texts, including poetry, drama and novels.

Using a variety of critical methodologies for situating these works in their historical context, they will gain an understanding of how literary explorations of self (and other) and the community were shaped by contemporary concerns and thus develop a sense of historical sensitivity. The four courses each focus on a different period of time and build on each other regarding intertextuality and their thematic focus.


Block 1:

Race, Empire and Gothic in the Literature of the Anthropocene (EN3V24006)

This course will discuss the intertwinement of a number of events, like the emergence of successive models of racism, the ascent of Britain to the status of global hegemon, the birth of the gothic, climate change, which were central to the culture of modernity over the course of the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (c. 1688-1837). Studying them in conjunction will equip students with a rich understanding of the complex legacies of imperialism, racialization, and climate change as they continue to structure the present day.


Block 2:

Life, Love and Politics in Medieval Literature  (EN3V24001)

In this course you will will read and explore literature written during the Middle Ages, particularly the depiction of themes such as love, marriage, gender relations and social and religious unrest, but also the imaginary worlds of the Middle Ages, in a variety of genres in English and Celtic medieval literature.


Block 3:

Shakespeare’s Works and Worlds  (EN3V22001)

In this course you will be familiarised with Shakespeare’s works by delving into his comedies, tragedies and histories. You will learn how his works are are shaped by Early Modern English contexts by applying critical methodologies


Block 4:

Anxiety and Addiction in Contemporary Fiction (TL3V24007)

This course will discuss how prose fiction in the period of mid 1990’s and onwards have held our fears, loathings and compulsions up to the light and changed our ways of thinking about them. There will be use of a variety of sources, including essays, interviews, life writing, novels and opinion pieces.