Major Core

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course investigates some of the ways in which literary works not only express, but also foster our sense of modernity. It looks in turn at works from a number of major genres, including three very different short stories, a classic 'existential' novel, a selection of modern poems (with a focus on poetry written by women), a film (an ambivalent romantic comedy), and a landmark play that transformed the nature of modern drama. There will also be a session on critical writing. In an age in which traditional literary categories are being challenged and reshaped, in which social values and cultural identities are being invented and reinvented, we will consider ways in which some of the most important writers of the last one hundred and fifty years have challenged tradition, and produced works that have shaped contemporary consciousness.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course covers over one thousand years of English writing, from Anglo-Saxon to Neoclassical literature. We will focus primarily on the relationship between form and history in seeking to understand this literature, where form refers to a given texts genre or mode (e.g.,revenge tragedy), its linguistic and narrative characteristics, and so on, while history means both material and cultural formations as these change through time. While we will engage closely with questions of traditional literary history, we will also consider how more recent ways of reading and thinking about literature from deconstruction to queer theory might enrich our understanding of these mostly canonical works. The course will touch upon a number of big themes in English literature, with particular emphasis on the rise of individualism and the impact of the Reformation on early-modern culture and thought.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This survey provides an introductory overview of influential literary works from the Romantics to the present. Lectures will present historical and cultural contexts, such as the French Revolution and World War I; while close readings of our primary texts will show us how these contexts helped to shape the formal and aesthetic developments of each time period. Through studying a number of canonical texts, we will stress the revolution in poetry achieved by the Romantics, the rise of the novel as a new genre, the experimental nature of nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, the impact of modernism and postmodernism, and the ways these developments have defined our understanding of literature and culture.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Singapore has a rich heritage of writing in the various local vernaculars. This course will examine how English-language writers handle the task of the creative expression of Singapore life and society, and whether such work contributes to or tracks the formation of a specifiable Singapore identity/culture. The following topics will also be addressed: use and representation of history, multiculturalism and cosmopolitan identity, integration versus enclavism, relation between art and society/politics, place and function of Singapore Colloquial English (aka Singlish).

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course provides a general introduction to American literature through an analysis of canonical works from the 19th and 20th centuries. It will encompass a range of genres and address a number of different literary movements, including regionalism, modernism and postmodernism. Students will be encouraged to locate each work within its wider historical, social and cultural context, and to engage, where relevant, with issues such as race, class and sexuality.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

What do literary scholars and critics do? How do they approach literature within specific contexts? How do they communicate with each other and with wider audiences? What are the differences between Area Studies, Ethnic and National Studies, Cultural Studies, and Comparative Studies of literature? What is the role of theory in literary study? These are some of the questions addressed in this module. Students will be exposed to various ways of reading and writing about literature, including New Criticism, literature and the other arts, structuralism and post-structuralism, new historicism, psychoanalytic and feminist theories, and ethical criticism in order to gain an understanding of the methodologies of literary analysis. Readings and screenings will include Kiss of the Spider Woman and Dirty Pretty Things.

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 8 AUs

The Final Year Project (FYP) is an eight-month independent research project conducted over qualifying students’ final two semesters.  The work is supervised individually by a faculty member, and the final paper is marked by the supervisor and a second, anonymous faculty member.

The FYP is an opportunity for students to build on and extend the knowledge they have gained throughout the degree.  Students are responsible for crafting their own research questions and, in consultation with a supervisor, they will further develop the critical skills they have practiced across their academic careers. Due to its independent character, students also gain further self-reliance, self-motivation, and self-confidence.