Major Prescribed Electives (MPE)

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This is a comprehensive introduction to English literature from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings to the end of the 15th century. Spanning a period of just under 800 years, medieval English literature embraces an astonishing variety of genres and subjects, from the elevated tragedy of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde to the knockabout farce of "A Gest of Robyn Hode." In exploring this diversity, we will question the traditional view of the Middle Ages as a monolithic "Age of Faith" that can be neatly opposed to our own modernity. The course thus aims to consider early English literature in light of important changes during the Middle Ages, including the development of individualism, the growth of political protest and satire, the decline of feudalism, and the increasingly prominent role of popular culture. Selected texts will be read in Middle English with the help of a glossary; no experience reading Old or Middle English is required.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

The term "renaissance," meaning 'rebirth', was popularised by Jacob Burckhardt in the 19th century, and has since then been inseparable from the idea that a new kind of European individual emerged between the 14th and 17th centuries, along with humanism, capitalism, protestantism, empirical science and European imperialism. Burckhardt was writing about Catholic Italy, however, and the individuals this course will examine lived in England, under absolutist Tudor and Stuart monarchs, during a time when the Protestant reformation was giving rise to new democratic ideologies. These writers witnessed the systematic demolition of English Catholicism, and of the feudal society that it entailed, by Henry VIII and his children. The ensuing tension between monarchy and democracy resulted in the English civil war, a conflict which produced, among other things, Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. The texts chosen for this course demonstrate that, despite the excitement produced by new discoveries in art, science and geography, the emotion of loss suffuses the literature of the century leading up to the civil war, and this must qualify any notion that the history of the English renaissance is an unambiguous progress-narrative. Rather, it is a period fraught with contradictions, contradictions that enabled the production of some unique works of literary art.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

We will study canonical examples of English poetry, drama, and prose fiction written during the period 1660-1800. In order to contextualize these works historically, we will study major developments in England during this period, including evolutions in national identity; challenges to social hierarchies of class, race, and gender; and innovations in literary forms and genres.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Throughout the "long eighteenth century", Britain was regarded not only as a land of liberty and opportunity, but also as a nation of eccentrics whose works challenged, and helped to change, the intellectual, cultural, social and political norms prevalent in Europe at the time. This module explores a selection of issues that define the age of sensibility and romanticism and left lasting implications. These include: the coming-of-age of the personal and the critical essay; a new interest in the relation between the individual and society; a passion for travel and the delight in playfully exploring "otherness"; the rise of an obsession with nation, landed property and designer goods; a fascination with the past and tradition, and the revaluation of Shakespeare; the absorption with the self, and the development of a culture of sensibility; the extension of education to women; the discovery of childhood; the relation between enlightenment thinking and political radicalism; and, especially, the gradual emergence, from early journalism to the Gothic novel, of a literature that investigates both social conscience and the inner life of the individual. We shall trace and discuss these issues as they express themselves in a selection of poems, prose works, and novels, as well as in other forms of cultural expression such as painting, architecture, landscape gardening, and costume.

HL2005 Victorian Literature
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Victorian Literature provides an introduction to some of the best literary works of the 19th century, while drawing attention to neglected aspects of this extremely versatile, fast changing, and intriguingly self-conscious age. The course aims to foster excitement about the indeterminacies, doubts, and fissures that shaped the Victorian period's greatest cultural achievements. At the same time, we shall critically reconsider the many legacies of the shifts it saw in epistemological, cultural, and specifically literary conceptualisations. The material discussed this semester will include novels by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Wilkie Collins, one of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, a play by Oscar Wilde, as well as a selection of poems and paintings.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course surveys European and American Modernist Literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1950s. For many artists, the trauma of the First World War and its aftermath led to an increased sense of anxiety and a loss of faith in traditional beliefs or cultural systems as well as in outmoded artistic techniques. Literature of this period was heavily influenced by the philosophical works of Marx and Nietzsche as well as by the advances made in science by Darwin and Einstein. Also, of vital importance to the literary culture of the Modernist movement was the new field of psychoanalysis led by figures such as Freud and Jung. Reflecting the profound transitions of the period, Modernist writers offered radical new formal innovations while challenging moral, sexual, and political orthodoxies. Modernism is also marked by a preoccupation with the role of the artist itself. By studying the key texts and writers of modernism, we will seek to understand the main conerns and features of this 'movement'.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course seeks to investigate various fictional images of an oft-tumultuous contemporary world from the mid twentieth century to the present. The contemporary is multi-faceted and represents a truly cosmopolitan series of landscapes and contemporary authors are alert to the strains of contemporary music, influenced by film and television, conscious of the prevalence of visual imagery. Many contemporary authors engage with the relativisation of various kinds of values and we will closely consider the ways in which this tendency continually resurfaces.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

As we read we will consider the formulization of an "American" "Early" "Literature". What constitutes "America" before 1789? Are these texts "literary"? Does our study of these textsrequire a teleological perspective? What factors determined the canonization of only English language texts from a multi-lingual, multi-colonial, and native population? How has pre-revolutionary America been represented in the past and in our own time? How do these “secondary” histories determine what of the past gets preserved, celebrated, and canonized? What aspects of early America are forgotten in this process? What can we learn about contemporary American culture from these imaginative representations?

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course surveys the development of a distinctly American literary culture and history in the 19th century. In exploring this expanding terrain, we will encounter new genres and media, consider the impact of race and gender on ideas of freedom and democracy, and assess the formation of an American canon. Our goal is a critical familiarity with texts that have claimed a place in American literary history and the social movements that produced them.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course analyses and interprets American culture mostly from the first half of the 20th century, including fiction, poetry, and film, looking at the way that the conditions of modernity engendered new forms that go beyond the earlier novel/romance dichotomy. We will study realism (Cather); naturalism in its classic, modernist, and Depression-era forms (London, Stein, Steinbeck, respectively); as well as classic modernists Eliot, Hemingway, and West, examining their experiments involving perspective, language, history, memory, and the surreal. We will study the dark filmic vision of film noir, focusing on patterns of corrupt morality, cold passion, and dehumanising modernity. The short fiction of the Southern Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor will be discussed in terms of the grotesque and the cultural division of country and city. We will read Naked Lunch, Burroughs shockingly experimental work examining power and addiction. We will conclude with a novel by Robinson that evokes a hybrid world of nature and domesticity through non-hierarchical, non-individualised discourse.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Through the interpretation and study of selected works of American literature and culture from 1945 to the present, we will consider the ways that writers respond to changes in the economic, political, and social conditions of the United States during the postmodern era. While some writers reassert long-standing themes such as the individual’s quest for freedom defined against the constrictions of status-quo, domestic life (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Morrison, the Confessional Poets), others pose intellectual questions about language and meaning through metafictional innovation (Nabokov, Vonnegut, Barth) or confront national myths such as the American Dream (Dylan, Mamet) and the romance of the Western frontier (McCarthy). In an age where mass culture has replaced intellectual literacy, contemporary American authors ponder the place of the novelist in the world (DeLillo), reflect on the meaning of ethnic identity (Walker), and seek out a critical perspective from which to view the present.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

Less well-known than the rhyming poetry that has dominated English verse from Chaucer onwards, alliterative works are nonetheless remarkable for their complexity and range. In style, they recall the native poetic tradition of Old English while extending that tradition in ways that draw upon the unique poetic resources of the English Language. We will read a wide variety of these works in order to explore the range of effects that alliteration can achieve, from the stately verse Beowulf to the lively satire of William Langland. The latter half of the course will be devoted to the continuing role of alliteration in modern verse from the 19th century to the present.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

The term "renaissance," meaning "rebirth", was popularised by Jacob Burckhardt in the19th century, and has since then been inseparable from the idea that a new kind of European individual emerged between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, along with humanism, capitalism, Protestantism, empirical science and European imperialism. Burckhardt was writing about Catholic Italy, however, and the individuals this course will examine lived in England, under absolutist Tudor and Stuart monarchs, during a time when the Protestant reformation was giving rise to new democratic ideologies. These writers witnessed the systematic demolition of English Catholicism, and of the feudal society that it entailed, by Henry VIII and his children. The ensuing tension between monarchy and democracy resulted in the English civil war, a conflict which produced, among other things, Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. The texts chosen for this course demonstrate that, despite the excitement produced by new discoveries in art, science and geography, the emotion of loss suffuses the literature of the century leading up to the civil war, and this must qualify any notion that the history of the English renaissance is an unambiguous progress-narrative. Rather, it is a period fraught with contradictions, contradictions that enabled the production of some unique works of literary art.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

We will study canonical examples of English poetry, drama, and prose fiction using thematic foci as entry points to understanding the structure and meaning of fictional works written during the period 1660-1800. In order to historically contextualize these works, we will study major developments in England during this period, including evolutions in national identity;challenges to social hierarchies of class, race, and gender; and innovations in literary forms and genres. We will contextualize literary texts, choices, and practices by analyzing them in terms of contemporary philosophical, moral, and political theories.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

Literature of the romantic period is characterized by the various ways in which it challenges the assumptions    and conventions of the preceding century, thus extending the boundaries of human understanding and experience. It foregrounds powerful appetites and obsessive, even compulsive behaviour, best illustrated by the succession of daemonic others that appear in otherwise very different texts. HL4018 examines the nature of transgression and the role and function of the daemonic in some landmark works of Romatic literature. It is divided into three units. The first unit examines the relation between shame, guilt and creation through a close reading of two of Blake's early prophetic books. The second unit explores two very different examples of overreaching. In Goethe's Faust, possibly the single most important work of the romantic era, the eponymous hero is torn between knowledge and carnal pleasure. In Ivanhoe, it is not the hero but the antagonist who is torn between comparable desires. And the third unit contrasts two very different novels: Balzac's Pere Goriot, which explores a Faustian pact made within an emphatically social context, and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, which is possibly the most disturbing novel ever written about ungovernable passions.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This course allows students to take a more focused approach to Victorian literature and culture. By providing a thematic, rather than a chronological, introduction to a number of 19th-century literary texts, it aims to show that the shifts in literary representations at the time were part of an extremely versatile cultural scene that belies any retrospective typecasting of "Victorianism." The comparison of canonical Victorian works and only recently reprinted material, primarily by long forgotten nineteenth-century women writers, will help us to understand the literary developments that engendered a plethora of controversies, both at the time and in its wake, brought out such a versatility of works, and perhaps above all, created the novel genre as the Victorian era's most popular, critical, and representative form of cultural expression.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This course looks at the aesthetics of modernism in relation to turn-of-the-century technological advances that changed auditory and visual perception. In particular, we will think about how mechanical reproduction, which was integral to photography, film and the phonography, influenced modernist writers. By closely examining the novels of James Joyce, Virgina Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, Alfred Doblin and John Dos Passos, we will question how modernist writers made use of perception-enhancing technologies both thematically and formally in their writing.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This course deepens understanding of American literature by engaging with challenging works of fiction and poetry that experiment with form and also engage with the nation's history, in order to produce a critical perspective of the twentieth century, especially in terms of how industrialization and modernization have led a to crisis in subjectivity that demands a revised understanding of ontology and moral foundations.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This module seeks to investigate various fictional images of the contemporary world. The contemporary, as it appears in the novels on this course, is multi-faceted and represents a truly cosmopolitan series of landscapes. These authors are alert to the strains of contemporary music, influenced by film and television, conscious of the prevalence of visual imagery in society and are keenly aware of the multi-racial/religious natures of their cities and towns. Contemporary British writers are deeply aware of international intellectual and artistics developments and the sheer variety of narrative approaches testify to the major contributions made by recent writers to the contemporary novel. Thus, it is possible to consider their work as representative of contemporary European society, while being conscious of profound threads of connection with the idea of the contemporary beyond the borders of Britain.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 (HL3013 and HL4043 are mutually exclusive) | 4 AUs

You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the textual and theoretical issues raised in the course, and will develop appropriate analytical skills in the process. More specifically, this module teaches you the skills and vocabulary required to respond to an array of postmodern literary and filmic texts. You will learn how to analyze and evaluate a diverse range of literary forms and genres, relevance to the period. Special attention will be focused on the manner in which grand narratives are relativized and students will learn to independently assess various completing arguments, whilst developing your research skills. The course will also require you to engage with critical theorists of the period, including the work of key theorists such as Patricia Waugh, Brian McHale, Linda Hutcheon, and others.
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

In this course, we shall situate Singaporean literature more broadly within colonial and postcolonial representations of the region as well as within contemporary global developments in literature and culture. We shall take a critical look at the ways in which both residents and those passing through, immigrant groups and colonial powers, diasporic writers and the self-conscious "heartlander" represent Singapore, its history, its unique demography, and its urban culture. The texts we look at will therefore comprise locally as well as internationally published and circulated fiction as well as early writings by coloniser and colonised alike.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This module approaches its topic through a variety of selected writings in English or in English translation. Largely that of women’s writings, texts to be studied range from the non-fictional such as letters and biographies, to poetry, short stories and novels from various countries in the region – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. Situating the writings in their respective socio-cultural, political and historical contexts, the course will discuss issues such as the conditions of literary production and reception; whether the description “Southeast Asian” is merely a geographical category, culturally embedded, or a valid and significant construct based on a shared, and in the case of the women’s writings, a gendered “Southeast Asian women’s” experience. The course will examine the extent to which the experience was precipitated by colonial and postcolonial urgencies; the extent to which these women’s narratives, and representations of their experience are feminist, and inescapably inscribed by patriarchal structures; and the usefulness of Western feminist and postcolonial theories in approaching these texts.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

The course is structured historically, and our analysis will take into consideration the cultural conditions in which the works were created and initially interpreted. We will also bring more recent theories and debates about race, identity politics, and the national and political forces that lead to the construction of ethnic identity.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Over the last few decades, South Asian literature in English has achieved a global prominence that is unique among postcolonial literatures. In this module we will be tracing the historical development of South Asian writing from the colonial period to the present-day – exploring, among other things, the impact of British colonial policy on its formation, the ongoing debate surrounding its use of an ‘imperial’ language, and the reasons behind its phenomenal popularity. We will also be discussing some of the social and political issues with which this literature engages, whether it be the caste system, communal violence, or the vagaries of the postcolonial nation-state. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include an analysis of the Bollywood film Lagaan, and will introduce students to a number of important theoretical concepts within the field of postcolonial studies.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This module explores a diverse range of African literatures – including works from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. It will offer an historical account of the emergence and development of these national literatures, while also focusing on some of the major social and political issues they address. Of particular interest will be the transformative encounter with colonial modernity, the profound socioeconomic consequences of apartheid, and the various challenges faced by the postcolonial nation-state. We will also be discussing the significance of the oral tradition in African literature, and the controversy surrounding its use of English, the language of the colonizer. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include an analysis of the South African film Tsotsi, and will introduce students to a number of important theoretical concepts within the field of postcolonial studies.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Irish Writing: 1800 to Modernism provides an introduction to the history and remarkably rich literary tradition of Ireland in the critical period from 1800 to the birth of Modernism. The course will study how Irish culture reflected the different tensions and transformations of the period in Ireland and also how culture acted as a catalyst to political change. In addition to the most prominent literary achievements of the period, a number of different genres and will be studied in detail.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Historical fiction has always occupied a special place in literature for several reasons. Historical narratives record histories of peoples, cultures, and social and political crises. Historical fiction becomes especially important in history-making because it uses historical records to reflect on and re-imagine the past. More importantly, the re-imagination of the past is often bound up with the anxieties of today. Historical fiction then provides a platform for writers and readers to look to the past, the present, and the future simultaneously. This course focuses on modern Asian historical fiction and will cover the selective histories of Myanmar, India, Malaya, Korea, and Japan. Some of the larger themes that students will consider in this course include discussions of 1) genre: how do we define historical fiction; 2) types of narrative devices that are used in the representation; 3) the limitations of historical representation in literary narratives; 4) how to form a meaningful understanding of the past in historical fiction, and 5) the implications of interdisciplinary research in literary studies. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Old Norse-Icelandic literature—the literature of medieval Iceland— is one of the richest vernacular literatures of medieval Europe, spanning poetry and prose works covering a multitude of modes and genres: mythological; historiographical; religious; panegyric; legendary; fictional; realistic. It also has a special relationship with Anglophone literature and culture, having had an outsized influence on it from the Victorian era to the present day, and proving to be powerful inspiration for such varied authors such as Walter Scott, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, W. H. Auden and Seamus Heaney, as well as the entire genre of fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, historical fiction. Today its influence stretches to other media forms beyond the written word, from music to film to television to video games.

This module will provide an introductory overview to the language and literature of medieval Iceland. Each class would contain both literary and linguistic components. The linguistic training is designed to cultivate a basic linguistic proficiency to enable original-language engagement with the literary works. The literary material and discussions will cover not only issues of style, genre and historical context, but also interconnected philological questions such as textual preservation and transmission, transcultural intertextuality (i.e. the influence of works from other European literary cultures), and the relationship between vernacular and liturgical language. In offering a broad introduction to this influential medieval literary culture, the module will also serve as a useful foundation for students interested in questions of medievalism in Victorian literature, historical fiction and fantasy literature, amongst other subjects.


Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course explores competing versions of cosmopolitan and nationalitarian identity through a survey of important works by writers from nearby emerging economies (Malaysia and the Philippines). Among other matters, existential issues raised by urbanisation and industrial development will be addressed. The search for an idiom and imagery appropriate to a Southeast Asian locale, the challenge posed by primordialism, the issue of alternative modernities and the need to fashion a usable past from disparate material are other topics handled by the course. Students will be encouraged to formulate a first-cut analysis of where they place themselves with regards to these questions and concerns.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course explores two important traditions of European literature through a selection of works that span the continent from north (Norway) to south (Italy) and east (Russia) to west (Germany, France and Portugal). All texts of course will be read in English translation.The first tradition we shall look at is the Fantastic, which might be described as continental Europe's counterpart to Gothic literature. The German Romantic Fantastic is illustrated by two of E. T. A. Hoffmann?s bizarre and disturbing `modern fairy tales, and the Russian genius for this genre, by Bulgakov's equally zany masterpiece in which the Devil arrives in Stalinist Moscow accompanied, amongst others, by a very mischievous cat ...Our second topic is the lucidity with which early Modernist continental European writers explore the translation of vivid personal experience into literature. A selection of Baudelaire's poems illustrates the origins of European Modernism. Hamsun's short but powerful Hunger illustrates the birth of the modern novel. And we shall conclude with a selection of short texts by Fernando Pessoa, one of the most extraordinary, but also one of most accessible poets of the 20th century.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This module explores a diverse range of Latin American literatures – including works from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. It will offer an historical account of the emergence and development of these national literatures, while also focusing on some of the major social and political issues they address. Of particular interest will be the transcultural ‘contact zone’ created by colonialism, the ideological and socioeconomic consequences of slavery, and the enduring conflict between tradition and modernity. We will also be discussing the early chronicles of discovery and conquest, the significance of magical realism as a mode of representation, and the subgenre of the dictator novel. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include an analysis of the Brazilian film City of God, and will introduce students to a number of important theoretical concepts within the field of postcolonial studies.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

To survey the achievement of Irish writing in English and translations of Irish literature is to realise what a wide range of human experience is involved. It is expressed brilliantly in so many different ways by so many very different individuals. Many writers grappled with the notion of Irishness, and indeed many engaged in polemics. Others expressed the human condition without political engagement. Some transmuted the Celtic past; some found their inspiration in foreign cultural movements and ideas. Some claimed with Yeats that ‘ancient salt is [the] best packing,’ while others, like Joyce and Beckett, were manifestly experimental. We shall contextualise the history of Irish writing with the history of its politics, society and ideas. This survey is chronological: from the eighteenth century, celebrated for profound philosophical, aesthetic and political thought, renowned for the writings of Jonathan Swift, George Berkeley and Edmund Burke, we move through the Romanticism of the nineteenth century, with its expressions of nationality and individuality, of authenticity and inauthenticity, of the Gothic and the rational, of the non-conformist New Woman and the conforming ultramontane, through the modernity, and after, of the twentieth century, to the neo-classicism of the spirited present.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

By scrutinising a selection of texts from global cities with different histories, we will explore the roles and dynamics of literary texts in global cultural production, commodification, circulation and consumption. We will examine how these texts can be read to reveal global city dynamics, including for issues of precarity, inequality, ecological degradation, heritage, security, gentrification and various kinds of discrimination. How does Isa Kamari historicise the peripheralisation of Orang Seletar communities? How does Alecky Blythe give space for the voices of Hackney in her play about the 2011 London Riots? How does Ivan Vladislavić grapple with the transformation of Johannesburg in the wake of the fall of apartheid? How are these different forms of texts produced, circulated and consumed?

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course will teach you the main characteristics of Gothic literature, as well as the cultural and historical contexts of its development. In addition to this, you will gain an in-depth understanding of some of the main authors associated with Gothic literature and their key texts. Students interested in literary depictions of horror, trauma, fanaticism, paranoia, and guilt should take this course. Students interested in the way historical events have shaped literary culture should also take this course. The main value of this course is that it concentrates on a major genre within literature in English. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 (HL3031 and HL4030 are mutually exclusive) | 4 AUs

This course will introduce you to the main themes and characteristics of Scottish literature from the Enlightenment period, through Modernism, to the present day. The course will trace the vast transformations undergone in Scotland in recent history and study how literature has both reacted to and driven these changes. We will study the historical backgrounds to the texts, discuss questions of national identity and look at Scotland’s contribution to modern philosophy. The course will include poetry and prose from the nation’s three languages, Gaelic (alongside translations), English, and Scots. Authors covered include Robert Burns, James Hogg, Walter Scott, David Hume, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Hugh MacDiarmid, Irvine Welsh, and James Kelman.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 (HL3009 and HL4031 are mutually exclusive) | 4 AUs

The aim of this course is twofold: to introduce students to some of the theoretical issues related to the study of Comparative Literature; and to offer, through the study of a range of literary works, a consideration of various cultural, religious and intellectual traditions in an attempt to establish how they compare and contrast. Primary course matter will include cross-cultural influences, "nationalist" literary styles, comparative representations of consciousness, ancient to modern literary traditions, and an exploration of the possibility of shared, intertextual literary and cultural heritages. Primary literary texts will be selected from a wide geographical and cultural base, across genres and historical periods and religious traditions. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 (HL2013 and HL4034 are mutually exclusive) | 4 AUs

This course will examine some of the narratives that dominate the field of British-Asian fiction. It will look at how writers negotiate their location within and between different social formations. Where relevant, it will explore the existential and social/familial dilemmas addressed by the writing (e.g., absorptionism versus enclavism, inter-generational conflict). How minority cultural production unsettles an assumed homology between race, culture and nation will be examined, as well as the sense in which British-Asian writing widens the cultural and semantic parameters of Britishness. Links with postcolonial studies and globalisation studies will be made where appropriate.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

Advanced Studies in Postcolonial Literature highlights the challenges faced by writers from the global south, namely domestication/exoticism which denies and subverts alterity. Such concerns are linked to the increasingly popular sub-genre, “postcolonial gothic”, which is read as an ambivalent means to circumvent commodification. Encoun-ters with the uncanny/unheimlich (unhomely) and the abject in these texts unveil deep-seated anxieties regarding race, gender, class, and power, and these are collated with the way that the gothic reconfigures or destabilizes identity, especially as it relates to larger notions of nationhood, history, and belonging. Texts may include Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008), Raja Rao’s Kanthapura (1938/1970), Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, and Beth Yahp’s The Crocodile Sea.
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This subject will examine the major dramatic movements in drama from the Greeks through the present. Special attention will be given to how the theatrical concerns of one era influenced the developments of the next. Authors are likely to include Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, Norman, and Howe.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Workshop in Theatre Practice will focus on issues of performance, including consideration of how factors such as lighting, set design, music, and costume contribute to the meaning of the work performed.  The course will culminate in a performance, for which you will work as directors and performers.  You will also develop a production notebook contextualising your chosen scene and explaining your performance decisions.  In this course, you will develop a strong grasp of the foundational elements of theatre practice and dramaturgy.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min 'B' grade | 3 AUs

Does the cinema most resemble the stage, a painting, or a photograph? When is it like poetry? When do we treat it like a novel or short story? What is the relationship between cinema, television, video, digital arts, and other moving images? What sort of machine is it? Is it more like a picture frame, window on the world, mystic writing pad, or a mirror? Does it function like a language, an address, a puzzle, or a provocation? How should we examine it in terms of narrative, apparatus, and ideology? In terms of image and sound, style, genre, the film artist, and audience reception? What is the relationship between the cinema and democracy? These have been the primary questions throughout the history of film theory and will be the key concerns of this module. It seeks to introduce students to the history and debates of film theory from its beginnings to the contemporary period. Students will be exposed to various ways of addressing films and writing about the cinema, including formalist and realist theories, cultural studies approaches to cinema, semiotics, auteur theory, genre and star analysis, ideological critiques, and apparatus theory. Screenings will include examples from early cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, Bicycle Thieves, Perfumed Nightmare, Battle of Algiers, Citizen Kane, Rear Window, and Weekend.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min 'B' grade | 3 AUs

Cinema, like all cultural products, is political in some way or other. By deploying race, gender, and class as critical categories of reading film, this course's approach seeks to examine the political and ideological implications and assumptions of film art as a popular cultural medium. Brief introductions to theories on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ideology, and class will provide the framework for the viewing of classic and contemporary film from different cinematic cultures.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min 'B' grade | 3 AUs

This course is about more than just literature adaptations. In what ways, we shall ask, are texts transformed from one genre to another? If turning a book into a film is perhaps the most obvious form of what we understand under adaptation and what we conceive of as the most often expected link between literature and film, how do films impact on how we read? How does film adaptation feature in fiction, for example? In this module, we shall critically analyse the shifting, ambiguous, and yet creative, two-way relationship between film and literature.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course introduces students to the cinema of Asia. Focus is placed on the specific study of contemporary Asian films, so that by the end of the course, students will understand how these films compete in an increasingly globalized industry where audiences are exposed to a diverse range of world cinemas. Students will also be introduced to the political, institutional and cultural contexts behind the production and reception of regional cinemas. Films to be examined in the course shall include those from East, Southeast and South Asia.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This subject will trace a line of development throughout modern drama from realism and naturalism to absurdism and post-modernist theatre. Among others, dramatists will include Strindberg, Ibsen, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Churchill, and Shepherd as well as contemporary Singaporean dramatist Kuo Pao Kun. In addition to understanding how changing theatrical trends embody changing epistemological, ontological and ideological attitudes, students will also develop a powerful comparative appreciation of the interconnected evolution of Asian and Western drama.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 (min 'B' grade) OR HQ8010 | 3 AUs

This course examines the intersections of gender, sexuality, place, ability, status, race, and class in the cultural construction of bodies and how we respond to bodies. It focuses on the relationship between the normal and the abject to highlight how that relationship influences which bodies arouse our desire and move us in disgust. We will consider both mainstream and independent filmmaking and other visual arts in order to more fully investigate the rhetorics of the wondrous, the sentimental, the exotic, the realistic, the inscrutable, and the repulsive in regard to these bodies. More than just looking at images of and identities, we will concentrate on theories of the production and perpetration of the bodies we see and how we see them.

HL3037 The Environment and Cultural Production  
Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

In this course, we will examine the ideological, hisotical underpinnings to key ideas in ecocritical thought. We will consider how the natural environment has been conceived and represented, and explore examples from around the world. We will examine how the environment has been represented canonically, and subsequently move beyond canonical texts to understand landmark ideas and events in cultural and environmental thought. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Martin Esslin coined Theatre of the Absurd to group together a substantial number of post-World War II dramatic works that questioned realism and challenged the conventional dramatic form.' There was no Absurdist movement, and most playwrights whom we consider Absurdists did not identify themselves as such. Nevertheless, the designation is useful to begin thinking about their shared concern for what it means to be human in a time of social and political upheaval. You will be provoked to consider this central question as you learn more about the playwrights' dramatizations of habit, time, humour and suffering. The course will train you to close read Absurdist plays, and develop an appreciation for theirI destabilising effects on actors and the audience member. By the end of the course, you are expected to be able to differentiate between the social, historical,philosophical factors that affect the writing and production of absurdist drama. The seminar format will facilitate discussions as you share your reading, viewing, and performance/staging experiences with the class. Course Content The discomfort and frustration evoked by the Theatre of the Absurd force character(s) and the audience to confront the question, "What does it mean to be human?" Each week, we will look closely at one play, and if a recording of a production is available, we will view snippets in class to give you an idea of how each play could be staged. You will also perform scenes from the play in 1, class. The course will provoke you to consider what it means to be human as we look closely at absurdist portrayals of habit, time, humour and suffering. 

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This module aims to bring together students from a range of disciplines for a series of classes on gender and diversity. Set within a discursive framework of predominantly post-1970s critical theory, the module explores a selection of formative moments for identity politics in the post-structuralist milieu, such as second-wave feminism, queer theory and intersectionality. The module will explore the intersectional constructions of gendered identity according to a range of discourses that concern femininity, masculinity, transgendered identity, disability, ethnicity, class, nationality and virtual identities. It will consider the ways in which these discourses underpin contemporary debates about diversity. Equally, the module will underline the ways in which an engagement with diversity and intersectionality has enabled many current debates about gendered identities, those debates characterized by a focus on subjectivity, difference, marginalization, discrimination and an interrogation of heteronormativity.      

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

Although literary theory as a recognizable discipline is relatively new, we ascribe to it a history on the basis of two millennia of largely philosophical, scattered inquiries into the structure, meaning, and sociopolitical effects of literary work. A small number of such inquiries dominated thinking about literature well into the 19th century and laid the groundwork for the emergence in the 20th century of the discipline - a discipline remarkable for the fact that it has been in crisis from the moment of its emergence. Much of this course will be taken up with an attempt to show how and explain why attempts at theoretical explication of the literary reproduce the aporias associated with tropological systems. We will examine, for instance, “the logical tension” in theoretical work “between figure and grammar” or the “aporia” between “performance and cognition” [de Man, Allegories of Reading] by attending to the necessary appearance of such tensions and aporias in philosophical works of literary theory and aesthetics from the ancient Greeks to the 20th Century. This approach will allow us meaningfully to address fundamental questions about the aesthetic, political, and ethical character of both literary writing and critical reading.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This module introduces students to a broad and challenging range of literary texts from different parts of the modern Commonwealth – Africa, the Caribbean, India, Canada, Australia. It explores crucial issues related to the growth of new literatures in English since the mid-twentieth century, for example, representations of history, nation, and cultural identity; gender politics; crosscultural translation; migrant aesthetics. It examines the significant role of postcolonial theory in the field, the enabling as well as problematic aspects of this discourse.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This module introduces the theoretical question of the relationship between ‘literature and serious culture’ to the (less-literary) study of ‘popular culture’. The module examines the following key terms (& sets of oppositions): (i) high culture vs. low culture; (ii) pop culture vs. popular (or mass) culture (the 2 terms are not the same); (iii) popular culture as resistance vs. ‘pop’/‘mass’ culture as consumption; and (iv) class and popular culture.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR HQ8010 | 4 AUs

By first tracing the ideas of major feminist scholars, this course assesses the impact of feminist theory on the contemporary study of gender identity, politics, and representation, particularly in relation to literary and cultural theory. Students will also engage theoretical and literary texts, covering a variety of genres and media, from emerging disciplines such as gender studies, masculinity studies, queer studies, and sexuality studies.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This subject will explore the major dramatic traditions (Including, Greek, Elizabethan, Realism, and Epic) in tandem with the major theorists of dramatic form (including Aristotle, Nietzsche, Esslin and Brecht). Special attention will be given to the importance of drama within the history of ideas.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR FL8001 min ‘B’ grade | 4 AUs

What do films do? Why do they affect us the way they do? How do they make us think and act differently after we have experienced them? In this course, we will compare and contrast a number of films and philosophies to see what light their intersections and divergences shed on these questions. We will consider how the cinema relates to reality and how the cinema creates its own reality. As well, we will consider if any reality translates across time and space. We will examine the impact of filmic sound and vision on viewers? selves, consciousness, reactive thought processes, writing, and overall worldview. We will consider film theories and philosophies from classical, modern, and contemporary periods, and a large number of films from around the globe from the beginnings of filmmaking to today. In the end with luck and patience we will understand better what happens at the interface of the cinema and its audience/viewers.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

In this course, we regard the ‘human’ as (1) an evolving concept and (2) a lived experience.  As a concept, we trace the theoretical understanding of the human from humanism, transhumanism to posthumanism.  As a lived reality, we consider our place in the shifting relations between the human, the nonhuman and our environments. By close reading selected films, literary works and critical writings, we will explore encounters between the humanities and the sciences to rethink our relationship with our immediate reality. Our central question is: What does it mean to be human in the face of rapid technological advances, digitalization, climate change and the destruction of biodiversity?

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This course traces a history of virtual reality before the computer, beginning with the development of new immersive techniques in literature and the visual arts at the turn of the nineteenth century. We will explore how three genres – Romantic poetry and essays, the realist novel, and postmodern narrative – deploy the arts of immersion to construct environments, objects, and realities, and how these constructions express contextual concerns about solitude and society; artifice and nature; the senses and the mind; and the boundary between fact and fiction. By doing so, we will formulate our own definitions of virtuality and enrich our perspectives on VR’s possibilities, limitations, and implications.

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

During the second half of the twentieth century George Orwell’s 1984 became a staple (if not a cliché) of political, cultural and sociological comment. Heavily promoted by state actors after the Second World War for propaganda purposes, it took on a counter cultural life of its own during the late 1960s and 1970s. Interest in the book was again reinvigorated in the 1980s thanks to the arrival of new computer, media and military technologies. In 2017 sales of the novel reached a new peak. Orwell’s novel only seems to have gained in momentum and relevance; its depictions of “Big Brother,” of telescreens, and of the “forever war” have been uncannily prescient. This course examines in multi-disciplinary detail the long cultural tail of Orwell’s canonical text.

The course work includes an extended, intensive study of a literary text in conversation with the methods, concepts, and practices of contemporary history. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, this course will feature deliberation on and assessment of different disciplinary methods, and the assignments challenge you to express your knowledge in new modes and registers and to different audiences.

Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

You will be exposed from the very outset, to operas identifiable from days of old and yet are still relevant in your lives today. Examples are operas that feature the lives of Julius Caesar and Mary Queen of Scots, and those that transition into musicals such as Schoenberg’s Les Miserables and Lloyd-Webber’s Cats. 

This course encourages you to explore the creative impetus within you, and shows you how to compose and integrate sound, music and text deeply embedded in your creative unconscious, so as to produce a unique artwork that is truly yours. In this materialistic world, you will be given the opportunity to explore a higher dimension where imagination and creativity reside. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course considers the manner in which art responds to war, and the ways in which war and violence are appropriated in both aesthetic and critical discourse. We will examine the centrality of war to human and civilisational experience, and also consider the conditions of inevitability that bind human experience to a deep-seated violent impulse. Issues raised by this course include, but are not confined to: the structural constitution of war the differences and similarities between war and violence the inherent ambivalence of war semantics, rhetorics and discourse of war artistic expression of war experience as ambiguating gesture Just War or just war visual vs textual representations.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course begins with the assumption that participants have engaged in some aspect of creative writing and seeks to further develop one's understanding of the craft of writing in relation to the topic or genre offered. You will explore various approaches and strategies in creating, researching and developing text, experiment with ideas through practical work, and analyse a range of writing possibilities through critical review, self-reflection, and collaboration.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

In this module we will be focusing on literature produced in response to the historical experience of empire. We will look at the way in which literary narratives have been used to legitimize the imperial project – justifying its ‘civilizing mission,’ reinforcing certain racial stereotypes and hierarchies, and contributing to an archive of knowledge on colonial subjects and territories. However, this complicity between literature and empire is only part of the story. We will also be exploring the ambivalence that so often haunts the peripheries of imperial narratives, and examining the way in which literature has served to critique colonial ideologies and practices. Our discussion will be wide-ranging and eclectic, covering three different centuries and five different empires. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include analyses of Hergé’s early Tintin comics and Michael Haneke’s critically acclaimed film Caché.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR HQ8010 | 3 AUs

We will be examining the representation of women during the Restoration and 18th century (1660-1800), roughly the span of the Enlightenment in England. With the scientific discoveries of Isaac Newton and others in the late 17th century, Western civilisation experienced an epistemological shift from an adherence to traditional structures of authority (church, crown, patriarchal family) to the age of empiricism and a privileging of reason, evidence, and experientially acquired knowledge espoused by such philosophers as John Locke. This crisis of authority (reason versus revelation, evidence versus faith), exacerbated by the political upheavals and constitutional debates in the wake of England's Civil Wars and the Glorious Revolution, sent shock waves through all levels of society, including the domestic. How did women-having few political rights, little financial independence, and existing as legal nonentities when married-respond to this new age of discovery? The title of the course is meant to indicate the binary opposition of "good" and "bad" women with which real, complex women had to work in order to survive in society. The course itself will problematise that opposition in an effort to understand how women in an uncertain but exciting age could form and articulate their voices-as images of God, as rational beings, as rejects and misfits, as companions, wives, mothers, and citizens-in an effort to contribute to the public and private spheres and establish their own dignity as members of society.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Ancient stories from classical literature have inspired many later authors to reconsider and revisit the power of the mythological narrative. Through selected readings of classical works and a careful examination of their adaptations, this course will examine how themes in the classical literary tradition are used in a variety of adaptations that responds to different historical and cultural contexts. We will examine the use of language and imagery in adaptations of classical works. Students will be encouraged to explore the subject in depth and acquire a sense of contexts in terms of the intellectual landscapes that shape the study of literature and culture.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

From Lewis Carroll's Alice books, which heralded a new "Golden Age" of children's literature, to Cold¬ War era fantasy, comic songs, and Japanese anime, we will consider a variety of different texts and the notions of childhood they reflect and generate. Using Philip Nel and Lissa  Paul's seminal Keywords for Children's Literature  (2011), students  will develop the critical vocabulary necessary to discuss children's fiction, poetry, and film in its aesthetic, ideological, and intellectual contexts. Students will also cultivate a  strong  theoretical  framework for the  study of children's  literature  by engaging with field-defining scholarship by Jacqueline Rose, Perry Nodelman, and others.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course seeks to instill in you an understanding of the development of the genre of modern fantasy literature, and of the generic distinctions and theoretical frameworks commonly applied to it. In addition to the predominantly nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first century texts themselves, the course will explore the modern fantasy genre as a product of histories of ideas stretching from centuries past to the present day. With a syllabus spanning from medievalism to modernity via magic, the course welcomes all students interested in exploring the broad genre of fantasy, and the imaginative processes and ideological traditions thereof. In addition to exploring the farthest reaches of the literary imagination, you will also gain—paradoxical though it may seem—an understanding of how these authors and texts negotiate universal themes relating to the realities of human existence, including myth-making, modernisation and the environment.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Introduction to Publishing is taught by guest instructors from the field of publishing.  It will introduce you to the economic, legal, and social factors that influence which texts are published and how those texts circulate.  You will consider publishing from a range of perspectives, including authors, editors, and the publishers themselves, and think about the role of publishing in disseminating culture and information.

This course combines theoretical and practical approaches.  You will learn how literary productions are shaped by figures and forces beyond the author.  You will also consider how the skills you learn as English students relate to various roles in the field of publishing, whether as an author, an editor, a publicist, or a marketing professional. 

Although this course will consider a range of different types of publishing, it will pay specific attention to contemporary Singapore. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

The specific subject-matter for this subject will depend on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  Emphasis is likely to be on a very specific thematic study.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Tracing its origins from 19th-century writing on the possibilities and threats both of technology and the newly established sciences to its generic reconstruction and intertextual revisiting over the centuries, the analysis of its most prominent as well as of recently rediscovered works aims to illustrate how science fiction has transformed literature and film. In this, it also seeks to map the genre's most defining topoi: travel through space, time, and parallel universes; experimental technology; alien life; testing the boundaries of the mind and manipulating the body (cloning). Science fiction has always been experimental in its technique as well as in its critique of social, psychological, and scientific definitions of selfhood, and its study taps into encompassing explorations of epistemological as well as ontological anxieties.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR HQ8010 | 3 AUs

We will begin with Plato's Symposium, and move on to recent theorisations and philosophies of love. More than simply addressing thematic concerns, this course will approach love as a philosophy and a discursive practice, as well as address the issues of subjectivity, the Self-Other relation and difference, all of which are central to love. Our final aim is to evaluate the potential for love to serve as a discourse of alterity. We will be covering a variety of discourses and texts: philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism and literary theory; film and literary works by both male and female authors and poets. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

18th-century English readers recognised the "novel" as a new literary form that borrowed from previous narrative traditions such as the spiritual autobiography, romance, the picaresque tale, criminal biography, and travel literature. As a genre the "novel" raises questions of authority, tradition, convention, and innovation: What distinguishes creation from bastardisation? What types of "mixing" are acceptable and which are not? How is something recognized as genuinely new and how is it incorporated into an existing tradition? The issue of identity is central to the "novel" as a literary form and is reflected in its subject matter. The genre enabled authors and readers to explore the subjectivity of the individual self, the constitution of identity within a specific environment, and the relationship between "self" and "other." From the new worlds made available by technological innovations such as the microscope and telescope to Robinson Crusoe's disorientation at seeing a mysterious footprint in the sand, encountering the strange, the foreign, and the shocking broadened the perspectives and possibilities of literature in novel ways. The course will cover the development of the 18th- century English novel as a narrative form while analyzing the different literary choices and innovations used to represent identity and its response to novelty. We will study how novelists used and adapted their narrative form to negotiate conflicts of class, nation, gender, family, religion, and literary tradition. By the end of the course, students will have a sound familiarity with the history and development of the 18th-century English novel and will have acquired the vocabulary and analytical tools to think critically about the form and function of the novel.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR HQ8010 | 3 AUs

This course will explore a range of contemporary women's writing. Two seminars will be devoted to the study of each text; one seminar will focus primarily on the text as a exemplary of "women's writing", thus dealing with the politics of gender identity, female desire and sexuality, while the next will address the text as exemplary of contemporary writing, dealing with narrative language, postmodern reality and questions of historical representation, as well as the construction of the shattered/ split postmodern subject.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course introduces students to Shakespeare Studies by exploring developments in literature, history, and culture in the early modern period. In addition to learning about stage and book printing practices in 16th century England, students will also be introduced to the challenges that Shakespeare and his contemporaries faced in the production and circulation of literary works. We will study a range of Shakespeare’s works, from his early sonnets to his late history play and analyze selected filmic aspects of the plays; in doing so, we will consider how and why modern adaptations of the Shakespeare’s plays appeal to audiences in various parts of the world. In the course of examining the literary and historical impact of Shakespeare’s works, students will also learn about to major theoretical frameworks that have influenced the development of Shakespeare Studies over the last few decades. 

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course explores the influence of the book as a force in history and literature from the medieval period to the present. It will include hans-on examination of books and manuscript fragments as well as discussion of books as objects, social forces and vehicles for text.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

One of the most important twentieth century writers, Samuel Beckett’s prose, plays and poems continue to influence writers, readers and audiences all over the world. Although he is well known for the play Waiting for Godot, most of his works remain cryptic to the uninitiated. This module is for those who would like to dive deeper into the Beckettian world. In it, you will discover a poetics of failure, an ethics of non-relation, and perhaps most importantly what it could mean to be at the limit of the human.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

While the Western world may not have gotten noisier in the early twentieth century, there is evidence that people perceived the world as noisier. This course explores how modernist writers represented this soundscape. How did they make their narratives sound out? How did the changing soundscape influence and shape their representations of sound and listening?  

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

Who was King Arthur, and how did he evolve into the household name that he is today? Where did the legends of his knights originate, and how did they develop over time? How widespread were the Arthurian legends across medieval Europe, and what made them so appealing to authors of English literature in more recent centuries? These are some of the questions to be explored on this module, which surveys the long development of several of the major narratives involving King Arthur and his knights, stretching from their medieval origins to modern literary adaptations. The first half of the module focusses on medieval texts, all of which will be studied in translation. You will gain an understanding of the generic, stylistic and thematic individuality of these medieval texts, as well as an awareness of the ways in which each text reflects the composer’s explorations of the fundamental moral questions underpinning themes such as chivalric heroism and romantic love. The second half of the module turns towards modern reception, and here you will explore the changing significance and reimaginations of the Arthurian tradition in the nearer past. As Arthurian adaptations and reinventions continue to be produced and to occupy the public consciousness in the twenty-first century, this module seeks to offer you a sense of the enduring qualities of the legends of the ‘once and future king’.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

This course will introduce you to the different aesthetic models and figurative tools poets across different time periods used to come to terms with political, economic, and social insecurity. You will examine poetry from a variety of genres (pastorals, georgics, elegies, sonnets, free-verse) alongside work in other fields, including anthropology, environmental studies, and sociology. In doing so, you will not only consider the experiences of precarity and the structures that enable it from a variety of cultural perspectives, but also experiment with understanding contemporary experiences of precarity from a historical point-of-view.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 3 AUs

The specific subject-matter for this subject will depend on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  Emphasis is likely to be on a very specific thematic study.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This module examines some pressing issues in Ecocriticism, a growing field which studies the relationship between literature and the physical environment/non-human order. You will start with two well-known “post-apocalyptic” texts, move on to a provocative use of satire to explore the cultural politics of climate, and close with two “postcolonial” ecocritical texts that raise important social justice considerations. The texts will allow us to appraise some of the tensions and antinomies underpinning contemporary environmental debates and practice.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR ST9001 | 4 AUs

This course will investigate various treatments of science by literature according to both traditional and contemporary (postmodern) theories within the philosophy of science. According to Jean Francois Lyotard, scientific knowledge has traditionally been legitimated for being either emancipatory, or according to how it assists in the realisation of a unified scientific whole. Texts by Ibsen and Glaspell provide an opportunity for investigating the poignancy of the first of these legitimation narratives, while texts by Ursula LeGuin and John Banville will help us evaluate the second legitimation narrative. Finally, we will conclude the semester by questioning whether scientific knowledge is, as Foucault suggests, linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it. A regime of truth. Rlevant texts to this discussion are Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Darren Aronofsky's Pi.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

This course will cover the main texts of the key figure of literary Modernism, James Joyce. In addition to studying these texts - Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939) - in great detail, Joyce will be considered in the contexts of Irish history, Irish Writing, and European Modernism. The development of Joyce as a writer will be charted and the styles and techniques he used will be examined. Joyce's interpretations of history, literature and philosophy will also be studied.


Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

Literature and Medicine seeks to present health as a contested term with a continually evolving set of principles and meanings. The nature, causes, and meaning of states of health and sickness is determined not only by physical symptoms but influenced by class, gender, and race, and is perceived differently by patients, practitioners, and policy-makers. Twentieth-century British authors such as Ian McEwan, A.S. Byatt, Ali Smith, James Kelman, David Lodge, and Will Self offer a cultural history of the present that is united by a particular concern with the myths and metaphors that contribute to our un-derstanding of health and sickness. Accordingly Literature and Medicine guides students through a series of literary texts that engage with contemporary issues of health and sickness and signal the inadequacy of any understanding of health that is not culturally, historically, and geographically situated. Literature and Medicine uncovers the ways in which twentieth-century British authors urge us to reclaim the narrative of the individual sick person and reconsider what it means to be healthy and what it means to be sick in the twenty-first century.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 OR HZ9101 | 4 AUs

This course will explore the processes involved in writing about the self, integrating analysis of the autobiographical techniques of major writers with a practical understanding of the resources of the writer through workshop exercises and assignments.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

Identifying a series of critical concepts essential to the conceptualization and production of early children’s literature (among them easiness, gradation, and abridgment), we will consider how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers have sought to convey challenging themes to young audiences as comprehensibly, appealingly, and, at times, intensively as possible. How is the threat of child mortality treated in the New-England Primer’s rhyming alphabet (1727) and Christina Rossetti’s verse parable Goblin Market (1862)? How do Isaac Watts and George MacDonald respond differently to the challenge of introducing young readers to Christian theology? What taxonomic comparisons might we locate between John Newbery’s eighteenth-century compendiums and Victorian children’s magazines? This course will also develop students’ skills in using archival databases such as Eighteenth-Century Collections Online and Nineteenth-Century Collections Online.

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 (HL3023 and HL4040 are mutually exclusive)  | 4 AUs

HL4040 explores connections between literature and painting. It focuses on four major issues: (1) the similarities and differences between works belonging to each of these genres; (2) the manner in which literary text responds to visual texts (3) the principle of literature as an art form (4) art and representation (and it’s opposite non-representation)

Pre-requisite(s): HL1001 | 4 AUs

The specific subject-matter for this subject will depend on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  Emphasis is likely to be on a very specific thematic study.
Pre-requisite(s): HR1001 | 4 AUs

You will learn about the historical origins of art criticism and art history. You will gain an understanding of the conceptual and theoretical issues. You will gain an understanding of key schools of thought and philosophy in art criticism and their relationship(s) to important movements and trends in art history. You will develop appropriate analytical and discussion skills in the process. You will develop your own critical approach to writing about art.


Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

HY3025 aims to introduce philosophical discussions about literature to students. In addition, it encourages students to respond critically to articles and other media that make use of the concepts of aesthetics and the philosophy of literature and to become ethically reflective and responsible global citizens. This course will also encourage students to think critically about the nature of truth, knowledge, interpretation. understanding, taste, criticism, evaluation. and morality in the literary domain.