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.
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.
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.
Welsh Identities: literature and nationhood
What does it mean when we speak of Wales and 'Welshness'? How does the study of literary texts help us to answer such questions? What is the relationship between literature and nationhood? Drawing on a wide range of texts this course begins by exploring the ways in which Welsh national identity has been described and represented by Welsh writers in the twentieth century. We then proceed to explore other kinds of communal identities that have been equally prominent in the ways in which the Welsh have thought of themselves and envisaged their place in the world. We explore how class, gender, religious and ethnic identities have reinforced and challenged an often precarious sense of ' Welshness', and trace the tensions as they take aesthetic form in the writings of Emyr Humphreys, Christopher Meredith, Raymond Williams, Trezza Azzopardi and others.
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.
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.