BA Philosophy and Literature options
Year 2, Component 03
Literature options(s) from list
"I, too, sing America": Identity, Diversity, and Voice in United States Literature
What are the major US texts since 1850? And what problems are connected to them? Study a varied spectrum of US literature, looking at issues such as the relationship between American writing and history, American “difference” and differences within American society, nationalism and regionalism, and conflicts of race and gender.
How can texts be read and interpreted using the thinking of Marx? What about Freud or de Saussure? Or Derrida and Said? Study literature, theatre, and film using these key thinkers. Analyse their approaches both historically and institutionally, and understand the importance of theoretical and methodological material to your studies.
What are the major developments in film outside of Hollywood? Examine different regions, nations, movements and trends in international cinema. Understand styles and themes shared by certain schools of filmmakers. Analyse how films represent national/regional histories, and how these factors shape their reception as national, transnational or “world” cinema.
A century of religious, philosophical and political turmoil, the Renaissance was also the age of the great flourishing of the English stage and English verse.
In this module you will study Renaissance love poetry and learn about the sonnet, court literature, and the circulation of manuscripts. You will learn about the great writers of the canon, and some less familiar figures too, such as the female writers, who appropriated literary forms conventionally associated with men, and turned them to their own ends.
Moving from the focus on “love”, to the darker theme of “death”, some of the most extraordinary literature of this time is engaged with the religious turmoil and culture of martyrdom associated with the Reformation.
Finally, bringing these themes together, this module also explores Renaissance innovation in the theatre, and the revenge play, in which love, desire and death are intermingled and intertwined to horrifying effect.
This module will explore, through practice and discussion, the discrete art of the short story form. You will read a diverse selection of short stories drawn from various literary and cultural traditions, both historical and contemporary, to inspire and form the writing of your own short stories, attending to the specific qualities and techniques of this literary form.
Columbus’ gateway to the Americas, the Caribbean has experienced a phenomenal mix of indigenous, African and European traditions, giving rise to an exceptionally vibrant and diversified culture. By focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century texts, you gain a deep understanding of the literatures and cultures of the Americas and of recent transatlantic exchanges, whilst reviewing some of the key texts and themes of postcolonial studies and Caribbean literature.
Desire in the Age of Enlightenment: Eighteenth Century Literature
The Enlightenment has often been considered the age of reason, or a period in which thought overcomes earlier forms of superstition or mysticism and develops empirical, scientific modes of seeking out truth. Juxtaposed against the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment would shine a new, penetrating light over all domains of concern.
While certainly a time of radical change and rigorous re-examination, this simplified picture obscures a more complicated reality. For in the effort to relegate all forms of unreason to the past, the period witnesses an intense compression of the appetites that generate something of a counter-enlightenment--something like reason's own shadow.
This module focuses on how those aspects of human experience resistant to rationalization and economization and calculation emerge in and through a range of artworks in the period after the Restoration (1660) and up to and including first-generation Romanticism (1789-1800).
It also puts an emphasis on works by a segment of the population not well represented in the texts typically associated with the Enlightenment: women. Thematically, we concentrate on how desire--visceral, unruly, conflicted--takes aesthetic form. We will analyse artworks in their historical context, which means against the backdrop of scientific, political, and philosophical works central to the Enlightenment.
What compels De Monfort's murderous hate? What tragedy has broken Martha Ray? Why does the Ancient Mariner kill the albatross?
At the heart of Gothic literature lies a mystery--one that often remains inexplicable; one that harries, harasses, and haunts characters; and one that drives them, often, to acts of horrible violence. And yet, there is something perversely attractive about this compulsion that licenses desires normally repressed or curbed, desires the existence of which we may not wish even to acknowledge. As a window into the gory crypt of the soul, Gothic literature invades our privacy and makes us squirm in light of what it discovers. To this end, the artworks studied in this module touch on such topics as sexuality, deviancy, monstrosity, madness, and the supernatural. The Gothic revival in England is a late eighteenth-century phenomenon, hence the focus on this time period. We will, however, also reach forward into the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries to explore some of the Gothic's hideous progeny.
This hugely popular module is a chance to study four key Shakespeare texts in depth. This option will allow you to master some of Shakespeare’s most rich and complex plays through practical work and seminars. Understand these seminal works and build your confidence by coming to grips with the language, dramatic conventions and characteristics of plays which are at the heart of our theatre culture. By the end of the course you will feel at home with texts which beforehand may have seemed forbidding or difficult.
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