The Stage Play World
The Stage Play World is an introductory module which combines an overview of performance history -- from classical Greek theatre to the present-day stage presentations -- with the development of reading and analytical skills. The module teaches students how to read and understand a stage script and then moves on to a consideration of how to analyse what is being read. The course also teaches students how to argue persuasively from that analysis. The module has been designed to emphasise the continuous development of drama, together with its links to social and historical events and to movements in other forms of art and literature. There are a number of set texts, with additional extracts that will be considered in lectures.
Fragments of Union: The Cultural Making and Breaking of Britain
The nationality question has been a persistent theme in British politics, most obviously in recent decades in relationship to questions of immigration and settlement, Britain¿s membership of Europe, the `troubles¿ and `peace process¿ in Ulster, and the resurgence of forms of devolution and nationalism in Wales and Scotland. This course explores the ways in which the diverse literatures of the British Isles have responded to, and shaped, debates around these issues. The questions asked on the course will include: How does a `four nations¿ approach, well-established in historical studies, function in literary studies? What are the key differences and similarities between the literatures produced in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales? To what extent does literature reflect social identities, and to what extent is it active in their creation? If all identities are in as sense `imagined¿, why have certain kinds of identities been significant in particular periods? Is an aesthetics informed by nationalism inevitably conservative and restrictive? Are linguistically experimental writers always skeptical of collective identities? Are we witnessing the `break up¿ of Britain in contemporary literature, or is Britishness being reconstructed anew?
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.
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.
Gender, Genre and the Nation: Women Writing Modern Wales
This course explores the range and diversity of Welsh women's writing in English. We will question and explore the legitimacy of reading and organizing literary texts along lines of gender, will ask whether there is a distinctive form of Welsh women's writing, and interrogate the ways in which forms of feminism have interacted with other cultural forces and political ideologies (eg class, nationalism, language) in Wales. We begin by exploring ideas of tradition and canon formation in the light of feminist criticism before going on to discuss the writings of early Welsh feminists and their relationship with nation (Amy Dillwyn, Bertha Thomas, Sara Maria Saunders), before moving on to look at Welsh women modernists (Lynette Roberts, Dorothy Edwards, Margiad Evans, Hilda Vaughan), rewriting industrial and post-industrial experience (Kate Roberts, Menna Gallie, Rachel Trezise), and a range of contemporary of contemporary voices animating the Welsh literary scene from Catrin Dafydd and Gwyneth Lewis to Trezza Azzopardi and Charlotte Williams.
There will be two additional (optional) sessions in the archives to introduce students to using archival resources in their studies.
Dylan Thomas and the Rise of Welsh Writing in English
Was Dylan Thomas the beginning (and end?) of Welsh writing in English? If not, then when did it begin? And does it make any difference as to when we suppose it does? What, in any case, is meant by speaking of a Welsh Literature in English? What definition of it can one offer, and what model of such a body of work can one construct? These are the kinds of issues to be considered in this course. It is accordingly subdivided into two sections. The first is concerned with the range of responses to Thomas's writings in Wales itself, and the ways in which he was made to represent the Anglophone literature of Wales in England and the United States. The second considers other possible "beginnings" for Welsh writing in English ( ranging from the Middle Ages to the First World War and to the thirties generation of genius). We conclude by discussing some of the theoretical and cultural isses involved in constructing literary tradition.
Locating Wales: comparative perspectives on Welsh Writing in English
This course aims to develop the comparative approaches to the study of Welsh writing in English. Whereas literary studies have traditionally taken place within national boundaries, this course aims to foster comparative analyses of literature and cultures in the hope that such an approach will shed a new and illuminating light on Welsh literatures and culture. We begin by discussing the methodology and implications of comparative literary studies, before proceeding to look at the strengths and weaknesses of a 'postcolonial' approach to Welsh literature. We will explore cases of interaction between Welsh writers and postcolonial literary traditions. We will then proceed to look at two case studies: Wales and Ireland, and Wales and Afro-America. While the course centers on two case studies, students will be encouraged to pursue their own interests.
Placement Module: Welsh Writing in English
This module provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience of working with a literary, cultural, arts, heritage or creative organisation or project in a graduate-level role. Students with an existing interest in the anglophone literary culture of Wales will spend 100 hours within a host institution that plays a part in the cultural and literary life of Wales (e.g. archives, heritage sector, creative industries, arts organisations). The placement will involve the student undertaking graduate-level tasks associated with the daily work of the organisation and learning and particpating in the objectives of the organisation. Placements will give students an insight into the cultural work and professional practices of their host organisation.
In addition to the placement, students will attend an induction tutorial, mid-placement workshops, assessment tutorials and complete a reflective diary (in a digital format) during the placement. The module is assessed via a 1000 word reflective diary (15%) a 750 word blog (20%) and a 3,500 word academic essay on a topic relating to Welsh writing in English.
Access to this module is by application during TB1 (provisional selections permitted at the start of the academic year).