In your ﬁrst semester you take our compulsory research methods module which hones your skills in postgraduate research. You also take a further module drawn from our exciting range of thematic modules which are closely linked with staff expertise. In your second semester, you take two elective modules. Over the summer period you research and write your dissertation on a subject of your choice, with one-to-one supervision and support. This is a chance to work independently on a sustained project that interests and excites you.
Research Methods and Debates in Literary and Cultural Studies:
This module will provide research skills including library and IT skills, the use of databases, archival research and the structuring, managing, and presentation of a project. It will explore current areas of debate within literary studies in English, including the nature of cross-disciplinary research.
The dissertation module provides the opportunity for students to undertake a supervised, self-directed, research project (about 15-20,000 words in length), on any topic of their choice, independent of the modules they have studied. It will make use of the IT, library, and other research and scholarly skills learnt on the Research Methods module and developed through subsequent modules.
Elective modules for Semesters 1 and 2
The elective modules on offer will change each year but will be selected from the list below.
Writing War 1850-1950: The impact of Modernity:
This module to will explore the impact of modernity on literary representations of the experience of warfare from c. 1850 to the end of the Second World War. Using a range of written records by both men and women, and examining a variety of genres the module will track the influence of technological, social, political and cultural developments on representations of war.
The Haunted Mind: Ghosts 1750 to the present:
This module examines the distinctly modern form of the ghost in the haunted spaces and minds of nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and culture. We explore the ways in which the ghost embodies new modes of experience across a number of fields, including psychoanalysis, evolutionary theory, economics and new communications technologies. Writers studied will include, for example: Sheridan Le Fanu; Wilkie Collins; Henry James; Sarah Waters and Don DeLillo.
Poetry and the Environment:
On this module we cover some of the major landmarks in recent “eco-critical” thinking through an extended focus on poetry, ranging from Wordsworth and the Romantics to postcolonial Australian poetries.
The Legacy of War: Fiction of the 1920s and 30s:
This module explores the literary developments of the 1920s and 1930s, with a primary focus on fiction. It examines the way in which society recovered from the First World War and the political and cultural upheavals that followed, and how these influenced the production of new literatures.
Ocean Modernity: Literature and the Sea 1850-the present:
On this module we encounter a diverse array of literary engagements with the ocean, ranging from Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad to contemporary writers like Amitav Ghosh and Caroline Bergvall. We’ll explore how these ocean imaginaries reveal shifting and intertwined cultural, global and ecological relations.
Poetry and the Modern Self:
Focusing on lyric and the short poem from the 18th century, the module traces the changes to important concepts in philosophical and cultural ideas of the self, and assesses how they impacted on poetic content and practice over time until the present day.
Fictions of femininity in eighteenth-century England:
This module explores imaginations of women in literary and visual culture during the making of the modern world, engaging with contexts from emergent global capitalism and social mobility through the first articulations of feminism. Incorporating material by turns complex, comic, and cynical, the course also draws on local connections in the Cottonian Collection and other archival resources.
The Utopian Novel and Modernity:
This module examines the intersection of utopian thinking, theory and the novel from the late nineteenth century to the present, and traces how this intersection relates to issues such as globalism, gender and the environment. The module engages with prominent theorists of utopia such as Ernst Bloch and Fredric Jameson, and writers such as William Morris, Ursula Le Guin, and Kim Stanley Robinson.
Remembering Things Past: Literature and Memory, 1780 to Present:
This module examines the interrelationships between literary culture and memory from 1780 to the present. Students will engage with a diverse array of texts including fiction, poetry, film, and theory in order to examine issues such as the role of literature in constructing national memory, the historical tensions between the written word and orality, and contested sites of memory in postcolonial contexts. In doing so, the module investigates current debates in the broader interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies.
Independent Research Project:
This module allows you to negotiate, plan and carry out a small-scale independent research project, under the supervision of an appropriate expert from the English team. This option gives you the opportunity to pursue a focused topic of your own choosing as well as building invaluable project management skills.
The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
MAEL700 Research Methods and Debates in Literary and Cultural Studies
This module will provide research skills including library and IT skills, the use of databases, archival research and the structuring, managing, and presentation of a project. It will explore current areas of debate within literary studies in English, including the nature of cross-disciplinary research, and may include breakaway session's specific to the exit awards.
MAEL701 MA English Literature Dissertation
The dissertation module provides the opportunity for students to undertake a supervised, self-directed, research project (15-20,000 words in length), on any topic of their choice, independent of the modules they have studied. It will make use of the IT, library, and other research and scholarly skills learnt the core Research Methods module and developed through subsequent modules.
MAEL704 The Haunted Mind: Ghosts 1750 to the Present
The module will explore the ways in which the ghost embodies new modes of experience across a number of fields: in psychoanalytic concepts of the unconscious, dreams, melancholia , mourning, sexual difference, and the uncanny; in evolutionary formulations of history and memory; in spiritualism and psychical research; in the ghosts in the machine of early communication and visual technologies such as the wireless, the telegraph, the magic lantern show, photography and the cinema. We will investigate the spectral in key modern sites: in the enchantments of an expanding commodity culture, in the intangible circulation of money, in the urban spectacle. The module will consider the ghost in postmodernity, in the hyperreal, cyberspace, in explorations of technology and the post-human. Writers will include, for example: Sheridan Le Fanu; Wilkie Collins; Charles Dickens; MR James; Henry James; Algernon Blackwood; Edith Wharton; W.H. Hodgson; May Sinclair; Vernon Lee; Marghanita Laski; Susan Hill; Sarah Waters; Toby Litt; A.N. Wilson; Shirley Jackson, William Gibson, and Don DeLillo.
MAEL706 The Utopian Novel and Modernity
This module will explore the intersection of utopian thinking, theory and the novel over a period spanning the late nineteenth century to the present. It will explore how this intersection relates to relevant political and cultural issues and contexts such as globalism, politics, gender and the environment. The module will engage with prominent theorists of utopia such as Ernst Bloch and Fredric Jameson. It will also focus on the work of a range of authors, such as William Morris, Ursula Le Guin, Doris Lessing and Kim Stanley Robinson.
MAEL707 Ocean Modernity: Literatures of the sea, 1850- the present
This module explores literary and cultural representations of the ocean from 1850 to the present. By engaging with a diverse array of literary and cultural texts, including fiction, poetry, non-fiction, theory and visual art, it will examine diverse and shifting cultural imaginaries of the sea. In so doing, it will also investigate wider relations between humanity and the non-human world in modernity.
MAEL712 Independent Research/Professional Experience Project
This module enables students to conceive, plan and carry out an independent research project, with guidance from a supervisor on a topic not currently covered by the Programme's other modules. Students may engage with a topic, period or genre relevant to the study of English Literature or use their research to construct a project in the context of a professional work experience.