Voices of Poetry
'Voices of Poetry' is an engaging and exciting module which aims to introduce students to poetry and the various voices it articulates. Taught by poets as well as critics and scholars of poetry, this course begins by defining the lyric poem and then exploring the basic structures and devices which make it work ¿ metre, rhyme, rhetorical figures, rhythm, metaphor and so on. Having done this, the course moves on to the relationship between meaning, form and voice, introducing students to a variety of poems ranging from the anonymous medieval lyric to postmodern US poetry, from Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath. Attention is paid at all times to the way poets create the effect of a `voice¿, and to poems¿ socio-historical contexts. The main aim of the course is to give students the confidence, enthusiasm and expertise to engage in independent close reading, analysis and critical assessment.
Revolution of the Word: Modernism
An introduction to Modernist literature, focussing upon its origins in response to the crisis of modernity, its engagement with colonialism and the First World War, its formal experimentation, its depiction of city-life and its engagement with new ideas of gender and the unconscious.
No-Man's Land: Literature of the Great War
This module examines First World War writing from the point of view of combatants and non-combatants; men and women; those who experienced the war first hand, and those for whom it is an historical event. Linking these myriad viewpoints is the image of No-Man¿s Land which functions as the preeminent symbol of the Great War as fought on the Western Front. It is a site laden with complex meanings, connotative of trauma, commemoration, political failure and gender crisis. On this module we will tease out such implications through novels, memoirs, poetry and drama.
Dissertation - English Literature
The Dissertation is an optional, two-semester, 40-credit module designed to develop high-level academic skills and intellectual independence in the students. A first-semester skills-building programme will include: research skills, summary skills, bibliographic skills, ability to synthesise succinctly, planning and organisational skills, correct presentation of a thesis and bibliography, presentational skills and public speaking. Students conduct research on a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of the English literature staff. The topic will be devised to fall within staff research and teaching specialisms, broadly defined. Students attend group sessions on research skills in Semesters 1 and 2, and have individual meetings with supervisors in Semester 2.
Poetry in the Twentieth Century
`Poetry in the Twentieth Century¿ is a survey of English-language poetry from Modernism to the new millennium. The module begins with American poetry and the imagists who worked in Paris and London many of whom, like Ezra Pound, H.D. and e.e. cummings, were American. The module examines the relationship between the development of imagism and the work of other American modernist poets such as Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams. The module then turns to the English poets of the mid twentieth century and the work of Phillip Larkin and Geoffrey Hill, before considering some of the recent English-language poets of Ireland and Wales, including Seamus Heaney and Gwyneth Lewis.
Crime Fiction since 1920
The two decades between the two World Wars have been called the Golden Age of crime fiction. This was the period when the modern detective story emerged as a major element in literary and popular culture. Energised by the challenge of modernity detective stories commented on the world while combining the thrill of the new with a conservative nostalgia for tradition.
This Semester 2 module will look at the development of crime fiction since the 1920s, concentrating on British writers, while also looking at some key examples of European crime writing. The module concludes by looking at some examples of crime fiction from the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries, encouraging students to look for patterns of continuity and change across a century of British and European crime fiction.
Individual project devised and defined in discussion between supervisor and student.
Research Practice in English / Contemporary Writing / Welsh Writing in English
Supervised project on research methodology in practice. Students build a detailed bibliographical plan for their MA dissertation project.
Modernist writing in London, Paris and New York
Much of the vibrant experimentation of English modernist writing can be located in the two great cities of London and Paris on either side of the First World War. Modernist culture is strongly located in the idea of the metropolis and one way of approaching English literature of this period is to look at the writers who were grouped around Ford and Conrad¿s English Review, before the war in London and then Ford¿s Transatlantic Review, after the war in Paris. Pound, Hemingway, H.D., Joyce, Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield and Wyndham Lewis all find an audience through these little magazines, as do many other writers, including Ford and Conrad themselves. Writers also cluster around Bloomsbury in London and, after the war, around the Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris and the associated publishing ventures of Sylvia Beach and Bill Bird. Like many of the writers who worked in Paris in the twenties, Beach and Bird were American and in the work of writers such as Henry James and Edith Wharton New York is constructed as the metropolis of the new world, the third great centre of literary modernism. ¿Paris is a big city,¿ wrote Edmund White, ¿in the sense that London and New York are big cities and that Rome is a village, Los Angeles a collection of villages and Zürich a backwater.¿
This module will look at a range of modernist writers who were active in London or Paris in the first four decades of the twentieth century. We will look at novels, short stories, memoirs, travel writing and poetry and will use the idea of the metropolis to look for patterns of continuity and difference in English literary modernism before 1939.