Component

MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
MA Literature options

Year 1, Component 02

Option from list
LT899-7-AU
Climate Fiction
(20 CREDITS)

The module responds to the global climate emergency by exploring how fictional writing, and some visual fiction, responds and has responded to climate change. We will explore and analyze historical and contemporary fiction (e.g., prose, poetry, some film and other visual imagery) beginning with an example from ancient classical literature, but most of the primary texts will be contemporary.

LT904-7-SP
The New Nature Writing
(20 CREDITS)

On this module, you approach writing about the natural world through a series of three-week units on subjects such as trees, marshes, coasts, and birds. Each unit will begin with a focus on the local – the wild east of Essex and Suffolk – before moving outwards to larger perspectives. Several of the units will involve field trips led by the writers being studied, which will include such figures as Richard Mabey and Robert Macfarlane.

LT908-7-SP
Writing the Novel
(20 CREDITS)

What inspires a writer? How do you develop your idea? What about plotting, character, structure and setting? Explore the general principles of developing a novel from initial inspiration to final draft. Undertake practical exercises to find out which writing methods best suit you and your ideas.

LT909-7-SP
Memory Maps: Practices in Psychogeography
(20 CREDITS)

A new genre of literature has been emerging: moving between fiction, history, traveller's tales, and memoir, it explores the spirit of place. This tradition of “psychogeography” has been most vividly taken up and given a new contemporary twist by writers in the eastern stretches of England, in the work of writers such as Ronald Blythe, W.G. Sebald and Iain Sinclair. This module is concerned with writing on the landscape of this region – the ways the wilder reaches of Essex and Suffolk have been depicted – and allows you to develop your critical and creative writing about place. This module usually involves a walking tour around Colchester where we will have the chance to explore these literary landscapes and experience these worlds for ourselves. Students will incur travel costs of approximately £2.50 for this trip.

LT922-7-AU
The Modern City: From Modernism to Postmodernism
(20 CREDITS)

Explore the cultural and political capitals of the twentieth and twenty-first century: New York, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow and London. By considering these urban spaces, you actively explore the categories of modernism and postmodernism, as well as a range of theories of the modern/postmodern city. Emphasis is placed on taking an interdisciplinary approach – discussion of literary works (including plays) will be complemented by viewing/listening to performances, films, and readings. You also consider paintings and photographs, city maps, and even urban planning decisions.

LT936-7-AU
“Tell About the South”: Literary Identities and Dialogues in a U.S. Region
(20 CREDITS)

How can a nation reach its potential if it will not think of itself as new, independent and important? Study major writers from the nineteenth century onwards. Explore the development of US nationalism and literature. Examine the development of regionalism. Understand how these processes relate to wider transnational considerations.

LT937-7-SP
African American Literature
(20 CREDITS)

How has African-American writing shaped US culture? And how has it often been at the forefront of literary experiment? Examine fiction and poetry that moved the African-American experience from the literary margins to cultural prominence. Understand literary developments, and how these link to broader historical, social and theoretical changes.

LT961-7-AU
Literature and the First World War
(20 CREDITS)

Literature has been a site of conflict in the cultural history of the First World War. In The Social Mission of English Criticism: 1848-1932 (1983), Chris Baldick demonstrated that when the relatively new university subject of literature (under the generic term "English") was developing during the First World War, academics proclaimed that it was poetry which would save the nation. In 1919 the newly formed British Drama League aimed to bring about a lasting peace by promoting amateur dramatics nationwide. The idea of poetry as a repository of the authentic experiences of the "trench" poets as lost warriors has contributed to an anglocentric perspective on the war and a reinforcement of poetry as the ultimate aesthetic form. Such a perspective, distilled in Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (1975), was challenged by Claire Tylee, The Great War and Women's Consciousness (1990) as well as Jay Winter, Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995). This module draws on a wide and rich field of literature and literary criticism. It locates the literary engagements with the First World War in the global context of wartime responses and the wider reflection on the impact of war which reverberated through genres and literary and cultural movements. This module includes material on such topics as war, trauma, and bereavement.

LT962-7-SP
Crossing the Boundaries: Literature and Translation in a Global Context
(20 CREDITS)

This module explores the practice and theory of translating literary texts in a global context. We will discuss issues related to literary form and genre, analysing translations of epic and lyric poetry, prose fiction, and classical and modern drama. We will examine the changes in the cultural status of translation from the ancient times to the present, analysing ways in which translations have contributed to the dissemination and reception of texts. The module considers literary translation as an act of crossing national borders and linguistic and cultural boundaries and an activity that allows diverse literary cultures to come into contact. We will explore literary translation in a global context, discussing historical moments in which literary texts and their translations originate, and focusing on the questions of power and ideology, feminism and gender, and cultural hegemony and postcolonialism. We will also focus on the political and philosophical debates that literary translations have provoked.

LT965-7-SP
Continental Crossings: Caribbean and US Literature and Culture
(20 CREDITS)

How do US writers imagine and represent the Caribbean? And vice versa? Deepen knowledge of American literature by examining poetic, fictional, nonfictional and dramatic works in a broader context. Investigate contemporary issues like the American Dream, what it means to be from the Americas, migration, and the question of language.

LT969-7-AU
Media, Politics and Society
(20 CREDITS)

This module is intended to provide you with a broad understanding the main theoretical frameworks of media and journalism to develop their critical appraisal of the interconnected communication world of today. This module is intended to provide you with a broad understanding the main theoretical frameworks of media and journalism to develop their critical appraisal of the interconnected communication world of today. It is aimed primarily at students looking to develop a research career in journalism or media studies as well as those students looking to acquire a critical approach to journalistic practice. It will also be interesting to students of Government and Sociology who are interested in understanding the big debates around the media and the relationships with politics and society. Each week a current event will be discussed in the seminar as well. The module will equip students with the knowledge, theoretical frameworks, and critical tools to unpack the complexities of contemporary networked newsrooms. It will provide the conceptual framework required to analyze and comprehend our interconnected communication sphere. The module will be open to students from LIFTS who want to critically reflect on the professional practice and to students from Government and Sociology who would be eager to acquire analytical tools that would support their interdisciplinary research.

LT976-7-SP
Queer: Literature, Culture, History
(20 CREDITS)

Beginning with the influential case of the Wilde trial in the final years of the Victorian period, the module traces some of the main strands of queer culture throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As well as reading a selection of classic works of gay and lesbian fiction, you will also engage with journalism, letters, essays, memoir, visual art, documentary, film drama, and queer theory. Drawing on these varied sources, we will explore the modern cultural history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gender-diverse people. Topics addressed include: the shifting status of same-sex desire in western culture; homosexuality in the nineteenth century; gay rights in the twentieth century; gay and lesbian fiction and memoir; constructions of gender and sexuality within medical and psychiatric discourse; intersectionality; black lesbian feminism; discourse, knowledge, and power; the Stonewall uprising and its precursors; the AIDS epidemic; the New Queer Cinema; transgender identity and activism; queer theory; LGBTQ Hollywood and world cinema; and contemporary queer culture. The module takes a comparative, interdisciplinary approach in order to show how the topics addressed have been taken up in different mediums and in varying cultural and historical contexts. While much of our focus will be on historical examples, consideration will be given throughout to how the texts on the syllabus illuminate present-day issues and debates.

LT978-7-SP
Literature and the Environmental Imagination: 19th to 21st Century Poetry and Prose
(20 CREDITS)

Wilderness. Activism. Extinction. What is the relationship between literature and the environment, and how has it changed over time? How does imaginative thought connect with scientific understanding? Study leading environmental theorists alongside literary works from the Romantic period to postmodernity, while optional film screenings enhance your study of written texts.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.