Monsters, Theories, Transformations
Literary works open up different meanings depending on the questions we ask them and the assumptions we bring to them. Literary meaning is in continual transformation. This module examines some of the ways in which this occurs through critical reading and intertextual revision. The first half of the module looks at two works, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula, that have been plurally interpreted by critics; the second half of the module considers the transformation of narrative and ideology in the 'intertextual' revision of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre by Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. The course looks at how meaning in literature is transformed and how it transforms the ways in which we see the world.
This is a skills-based module which will equip students with the technical and critical expertise that is necessary for their academic journey in English Literature and Creative Writing. It is designed to support the transition from post-16 study to undergraduate study and to show students *how* to become successful scholars of English. How should we read texts? How do we write essays? Focusing on an exciting anthology of texts selected by the English academics at Swansea, this team-taught module uncovers the power of written language. We will explore how writers inspire and challenge their readers, how to think critically, how to close-read, how to construct powerful arguments and how to produce written work that is rigorous, academic and convincing. This module empowers students to think, write, and persuade.
Conflict and the Gothic in the long nineteenth century
This module explores how the genre of the Gothic was implicated in forces of political, social and sexual conflict in the long nineteenth century, Terror, transgression and taboo are common features of the genre and characters frequently find themselves in strange, uncanny and threatening situations. We will consider what is at stake in these powerful motifs of extreme experience while also analysing the relationship between the structure and style of these texts and their affective impact. Genre theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory and the work of ecoGothic critics will provide much of the conceptual framework for this module. The module builds on themes explored in EN-100 and provides an intellectual stepping stone to a range of specialist third year modules.
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.
Science fiction, fantasy, horror, utopia and dystopia, magic realism, slipstream¿. How do we read different modes of the fantastic, how do they interrelate and how might they inform one another? Given the popularity of speculative fictions in film, TV, games and graphic novels, along with the success of literature such as J.K. Rowling¿s Harry Potter series and Susannah Clarke¿s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, why are the majority of writers and creators of speculative fictions less well known among a wider readership and viewership? Why do some forms of speculative fiction make certain readers uncomfortable, while others are able to engage with the conventions and concerns of specific modes of the fantastic and not others? This module explores the development of speculative fictions over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with these questions in mind, focussing in particular on the interplays between different modes of the fantastic. Encouraging readings from multiple critical and theoretical perspectives, this module explores issues of genre-formation, blending and blurring, the reading protocols of speculative fiction, identity and otherness, storytelling and power. Students taking this module will benefit from the material covered in EN-226: Conflict and the Gothic, although it is not essential to have completed that module before taking this one.
What are graphic novels, and how do they relate to their component terms, ¿graphic¿ and ¿novel¿? How do we read graphic novels? What are their antecedents, and how do contemporary works speak to the development of the form? Through an examination of two key texts, Bryan Talbot¿s Alice in Sunderland and Carol Swain¿s Gast, this module combines a focus on the literary and visual to equip students with the skills to analyse and understand how graphic novels signify, and how they explore and challenge a range of themes and ideas. In addition to an attention to form and the visual, students will apply critical and theoretical approaches to consider themes and concepts such as distinctions between ¿high¿ and ¿low¿ art, storytelling, identity, history and psycho-geography.
Encountering the Animal in the 21st Century
What do we see when we look at animals? What do animals see when they look at us? These questions are being ever more urgently asked in the 21st century; a period in which the issue of animal rights is being publicly debated, and veganism is a mainstream movement - yet, simultaneously, intensive factory-farming is on the rise, and an estimated 10,000 animal species are being driven to extinction each year. Animals feed us, clothe us and act as our assistants and companions; but they are also profoundly Other, and thus challenge our preconceived categories of being and subjectivity at a profound level. In considering considering the representation of the animal within culture, therefore, we are also forced to confront our own animal identity.
In this module,students will look at representations of the animal within literature and culture alongside theoretical writings from the growing discipline of 'animal studies'.In mid-semester students will have the chance to interact with animals during off-site visits, thus allowing them to ground theory in experience. Throughout the course, we will be interrogating the human/animal distinction, and discussing the question of whether animals are as different from us as we might like to think.
Practising Ideas: Advanced Research Skills in English / Contemporary Writing / Welsh Writing in English
This module is designed to introduce you to key practical and conceptual tools necessary for scholarship at Master¿s level and beyond. The aim is for you to gain the competencies and confidence to complete and enjoy the degree. In a seminar and occasional workshop format, you will practise a range of core professional research skills. You will be encouraged to reflect on your own learning and academic development to become a more independent and self-directed lifelong learner. You will produce a Portfolio of assessed work. These activities will support your work in other MA modules, particularly EN-M41 Research Practice and your EN-M31 Dissertation, while also equipping you with a set of transferable skills that are highly valued by many employers.