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level5

5AAEB036 First World War Literature

Credit value: 15
Module convenor: Dr Charlotte Jones
Assessment: 1 x 3000 word essay (100%)
Teaching pattern: 1 hour seminar & 1 hour lecture weekly
Pre-requisites: None

Module description:

The module introduces students to a variety of First World War writing across genres and written by both combatants and non-combatants, men and women.  A historicised awareness, it is hoped, will help us appreciate the formal qualities of these writings as well as explore issues such as gender, sexuality, memory, shell shock and the body in pain.  We will also engage with theorists from the period and beyond – from Freud to Sartre and Kristeva – and examine some of the aesthetic and psychological challenges involved in representing war experience.  The primary emphasis will be on British authors, but attention will also be paid to the European context.  While the emphasis will be on close-readings of primary texts, students are encouraged to engage with more recent literary and cultural-historical scholarship, and to consider what it means to be studying the literature of this period in the centenary year of the start of the war.

Core reading:

For this course, you are advised to buy the course-pack and The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry ed. Jon Silkin (Penguin, 1996): this is currently out of print but is available second-hand.  If you cannot get Silkin’s edition, you can buy The Winter of the World ed. Hibberd and Onions or The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry ed. George Walter (Penguin, 2006).  You are also expected to be familiar with the following texts and have them in class:

  • Brittain, Vera, Testament of Youth (most editions are fine)
  • Borden, Mary, The Forbidden Zone (Hesperus Press, 2006) (optional buy; main stories will be extracted in the course-book)
  • Graves, Robert, Goodbye to All That (most editions are fine)
  • Woolf, Virginia, Mrs Dalloway ed. Stella McNichol (Penguin, 2000) (other editions should also be fine)
  • Barker, Pat, Regeneration (Penguin, 1991)

Module aims and Learning outcomes:

A survey of major poetry, fiction, and autobiography written about the First World War. The primary emphasis will be on British authors, but with some attention to the European context.

By the end of the module, students will gain:

  1. Knowledge of a range of key First World War texts by men and women in three different genres.
  2. Knowledge of the historical and social circumstances, and also of contemporary debates about gender, class, and psychology, and how the war transformed them.
  3. An understanding of the hostilities between combatants and non - combatants, and how this affected writers' senses of their readerships.
  4. An awareness of the power of the war to generate different myths at different times.

 

Module Description 2017-18

Credit value: 15
Module convenor: Dr Santanu Das
Assessment: 1 x 3500 word essay (100%)
Teaching pattern: 1 hour seminar & 1 hour lecture weekly
Pre-requisites: None

Module description:

The module introduces students to a variety of First World War writing across genres and written by both combatants and non-combatants, men and women.  A historicised awareness, it is hoped, will help us appreciate the formal qualities of these writings as well as explore issues such as gender, sexuality, memory, shell shock and the body in pain.  We will also engage with theorists from the period and beyond – from Freud to Sartre and Kristeva – and examine some of the aesthetic and psychological challenges involved in representing war experience.  The primary emphasis will be on British authors, but attention will also be paid to the European context.  While the emphasis will be on close-readings of primary texts, students are encouraged to engage with more recent literary and cultural-historical scholarship, and to consider what it means to be studying the literature of this period in the centenary year of the start of the war.

Core reading:

For this course, you are advised to buy the course-pack and The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry ed. Jon Silkin (Penguin, 1996): this is currently out of print but is available second-hand.  If you cannot get Silkin’s edition, you can buy The Winter of the World ed. Hibberd and Onions or The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry ed. George Walter (Penguin, 2006).  You are also expected to be familiar with the following texts and have them in class:

  • Brittain, Vera, Testament of Youth (most editions are fine)
  • Borden, Mary, The Forbidden Zone (Hesperus Press, 2006) (optional buy; main stories will be extracted in the course-book)
  • Graves, Robert, Goodbye to All That (most editions are fine)
  • Woolf, Virginia, Mrs Dalloway ed. Stella McNichol (Penguin, 2000) (other editions should also be fine)
  • Barker, Pat, Regeneration (Penguin, 1991)

Module aims and Learning outcomes:

A survey of major poetry, fiction, and autobiography written about the First World War. The primary emphasis will be on British authors, but with some attention to the European context.

By the end of the module, students will gain:

  1. Knowledge of a range of key First World War texts by men and women in three different genres.
  2. Knowledge of the historical and social circumstances, and also of contemporary debates about gender, class, and psychology, and how the war transformed them.
  3. An understanding of the hostilities between combatants and non - combatants, and how this affected writers' senses of their readerships.
  4. An awareness of the power of the war to generate different myths at different times.

 

 

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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