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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

EN122-30 Modes of Reading

Department
English and Comparative Literary Studies
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Myka Tucker-Abramson
Credit value
30
Module duration
25 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module offers an introduction to the practices of criticism. Form, genre and literary inheritance will be among the topics addressed. The module aims to enable students to work with a variety of critical approaches, and to develop an informed awareness of the possibilities available to them as readers and critics. Thematically organised lectures provide a frame of cultural reference on which the students will draw in their close readings in seminars. The module is taught in four units of four lectures each.

Module web page

Module aims

This module offers an introduction to the practices of criticism. Form, genre and literary inheritance will be among the topics addressed. The module aims to enable students to work with a variety of critical approaches, and to develop an informed awareness of the possibilities available to them as readers and critics. Thematically organised lectures provide a frame of cultural reference on which the students will draw in their close readings in seminars. The module is taught in four units of four lectures each.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Term 1
Week 1: Introduction to the course

Unit I: Narrative
*** Text to read over the summer for this unit, Chris Kraus I Love Dick (1997)

Week 2: Viktor Shklovsky, “Art, as Device” (1917) and Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics (1916; trans. Roy Harris): 'Introduction. Chapter 3. The Object of Study.' (pp. 9-19) and 'Part One. General Principles. Chapter 1. Nature of the Linguistic Sign' (pp.75-91)

Week 3: Karl Marx, excerpt from The German Ideology (1845)

Week 4: Sigmund Freud “The Method of Interpreting Dreams: An Analysis of a Specimen Dream" (1899) and Louis Althusser “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (1970)

Week 5: Helene Cixous, "Laugh of the Medusa" (1976)

Unit II: Poetics
Week 7 Comparative Poetry: Mahmood Darwish "Sonnet V"; W.B. Yeats "No Second Troy"; Lorna Goodison "Mother, the Great Stones Got To Move"
Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, “Poetry as a Way of Saying” Understanding Poetry (1938)

Week 8 Comparative Poetics: Adonis, “Poetics and Modernity” in An Introduction to Arab Poetics (1984); Édouard Glissant “For Opacity" (1990); Audre Lorde “Poetry is Not a Luxury” (1984)

Week 9 Contemporary Poetics I: M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong plus the "Notanda" (Wesleyan Press, 2008)
Evie Shockley, "Is 'Zong!' conceptual poetry? Yes, it isn't." (2013)

Week 10 Contemporary Poetics II: Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid (2010)
Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985)

Term 2
Unit III: Performance
*** Text to be read alongside material for weeks 1-3: Saadallah Wannous, Soiree for the 5th of June (1967)

Week 1: Ric Knowles, excerpts from How Theatre Means (2014)

Week 2: Antonin Artaud "The Theatre of Cruelty: First Manifesto" in The Theatre and Its Double (1938)

Week 3: Augusto Boal, "Preface to the 1974 Edition" and "Poetics of the Oppressed" in Theatre of the Oppressed (1970)

Week 4: To read: Judith Butler "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory" Theatre Journal (1988) and Sylvia Federici "Wages Against Housework" (1975)
To watch: Martha Rosler Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975)

Week 5: To listen to: Childish Gambino “This is America” (2018)
To view: selected artworks by Carrie Mae Weems and Kara Walker
To read: Frantz Fanon "The Fact of Blackness" Black Skin White Masks (1952)

Unit IV: Image
Week 7 Photography: Julio Cortazar “Blow Up” (1959)
Roland Barthes Camera Lucida (excerpts, 1980) and Susan Sontag “On Photography” (1977)

Week 8 Spectacle: To watch: Xin Xin “Faxconn.tv” (excerpt, 2015) and ipod ads and ipod ads culturejammed
To read: Guy Debord "Separation Perfected" Society of the Spectacle (1967)

Week 9 Graphic: Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)
Eve Kosovsky Sedgewick, “Queer and Now” Tendencies (1993)

Week 10 Digital: To watch: Andrew Norman Wilson “Workers leaving the Lumiere Factory/Workers Leaving the Googleplex” (2014)
To read: Lisa Nakamura "Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture" (2014)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • By the end of the module students should be able todiscuss a particular work of literature or culture in relation to a variety of theoretical questions and opticsengage more confidently in critical analysis and bibliographic research relating to works of modern literature and cultureparticipate in discussions regarding the role of literature in society, questions of institutional authority and contemporary cultural debatesbe prepared to progress into the level 5 theory module, ‘Literature in Theory’make an informed choice of honours-level pathways and specialized options in modern literary topics; have completed training in Research Skills
  • Discuss a particular work of literature in relation to a variety of theoretical questions
  • Understand the terms literary theory and literary criticism and explain the emergence of both fields as a discipline of study
  • Complete training in Research Skills and close reading
  • Engage more confidently in critical analysis and bibliographic research relating to works of modern literature
  • Participate in discussions regarding the role of literature in society, questions of institutional authority and contemporary cultural debates
  • Be prepared to progress into the level 5 theory module, ‘Literature in Theory’ (Q300 STUDENTS ONLY); make an informed choice of honours-level pathways and specialized options in modern literary topics.
Indicative reading list

Term 1
Week 1: Introduction to the course

Unit I: Narrative
*** Text to read over the summer for this unit, Chris Kraus I Love Dick (1997)

Week 2: Viktor Shklovsky, “Art, as Device” (1917) and Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics (1916; trans. Roy Harris): 'Introduction. Chapter 3. The Object of Study.' (pp. 9-19) and 'Part One. General Principles. Chapter 1. Nature of the Linguistic Sign' (pp.75-91)

Week 3: Karl Marx, excerpt from The German Ideology (1845)

Week 4: Sigmund Freud “The Method of Interpreting Dreams: An Analysis of a Specimen Dream" (1899) and Louis Althusser “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” (1970)

Week 5: Helene Cixous, "Laugh of the Medusa" (1976)

Unit II: Poetics
Week 7 Comparative Poetry: Mahmood Darwish "Sonnet V"; W.B. Yeats "No Second Troy"; Lorna Goodison "Mother, the Great Stones Got To Move"
Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren, “Poetry as a Way of Saying” Understanding Poetry (1938)

Week 8 Comparative Poetics: Adonis, “Poetics and Modernity” in An Introduction to Arab Poetics (1984); Édouard Glissant “For Opacity" (1990); Audre Lorde “Poetry is Not a Luxury” (1984)

Week 9 Contemporary Poetics I: M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong plus the "Notanda" (Wesleyan Press, 2008)
Evie Shockley, "Is 'Zong!' conceptual poetry? Yes, it isn't." (2013)

Week 10 Contemporary Poetics II: Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid (2010)
Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto" (1985)

Term 2
Unit III: Performance
*** Text to be read alongside material for weeks 1-3: Saadallah Wannous, Soiree for the 5th of June (1967)

Week 1: Ric Knowles, excerpts from How Theatre Means (2014)

Week 2: Antonin Artaud "The Theatre of Cruelty: First Manifesto" in The Theatre and Its Double (1938)

Week 3: Augusto Boal, "Preface to the 1974 Edition" and "Poetics of the Oppressed" in Theatre of the Oppressed (1970)

Week 4: To read: Judith Butler "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory" Theatre Journal (1988) and Sylvia Federici "Wages Against Housework" (1975)
To watch: Martha Rosler Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975)

Week 5: To listen to: Childish Gambino “This is America” (2018)
To view: selected artworks by Carrie Mae Weems and Kara Walker
To read: Frantz Fanon "The Fact of Blackness" Black Skin White Masks (1952)

Unit IV: Image
Week 7 Photography: Julio Cortazar “Blow Up” (1959)
Roland Barthes Camera Lucida (excerpts, 1980) and Susan Sontag “On Photography” (1977)

Week 8 Spectacle: To watch: Xin Xin “Faxconn.tv” (excerpt, 2015) and ipod ads and ipod ads culturejammed
To read: Guy Debord "Separation Perfected" Society of the Spectacle (1967)

Week 9 Graphic: Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (2006)
Eve Kosovsky Sedgewick, “Queer and Now” Tendencies (1993)

Week 10 Digital: To watch: Andrew Norman Wilson “Workers leaving the Lumiere Factory/Workers Leaving the Googleplex” (2014)
To read: Lisa Nakamura "Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture" (2014)

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Interdisciplinary

The module situates its exploration of key theoretical debates in relation to a selection of (predominantly) post-1973 cultural texts, including novels, photographs, plays, films, poetry and music.

Subject specific skills

This module aims to provide students with a grounding in theoretical frameworks and methodologies for reading and interpreting literary and cultural texts. Offering different optics through which to think about culture, the module will introduce students to a variety of critical approaches, allowing them to develop an informed awareness of the possibilities available to them as readers and critics.

Transferable skills

By the end of the module students should be able to discuss a particular work of literature in relation to a variety of theoretical questions and optics; engage more confidently in critical analysis and bibliographic research relating to works of modern literature; participate in discussions regarding the role of literature in society, questions of institutional authority and contemporary cultural debates; be prepared to progress into the level 5 theory module, ‘Literature in Theory’; make an informed choice of honours-level pathways and specialized options in modern literary topics; have completed training in Research Skills

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 19 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 18 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Private study 263 hours (88%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Private library research detailed in seminars; guidance from other modules in the department on academic writing and use of library resources.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A3
Weighting Study time
1st Essay 50%

Guidance given through essay titles focused on set text to examine students' close reading, research, creative skills in constructing an articulate and persuasive argument in essay form.

2nd Essay 50%

Guidance given through essay titles focused on set text to examine students' close reading, research, creative skills in constructing an articulate and persuasive argument in essay form.

Feedback on assessment

Office hours provide space for feedback; comments and grades delivered via our internal marking cover sheet, uploaded onto Tabula for students to download.

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UCXA-QQ37 Undergraduate Classics and English
  • Year 1 of UPDA-Y304 Undergraduate English & Cultural Studies
  • Year 1 of UENA-Q300 Undergraduate English Literature
  • Year 1 of UFRA-QR3A Undergraduate English and French
  • Year 1 of ULNA-QR37 Undergraduate English and German
  • Year 1 of UHPA-QR34 Undergraduate English and Hispanic Studies
  • Year 1 of ULNA-QR38 Undergraduate English and Italian
  • Year 1 of UCXA-QQ36 Undergraduate English and Latin Literature
  • Year 1 of UFIA-QW25 Undergraduate Film and Literature
  • UPDA-Y305 Undergraduate Humanities
    • Year 7 of Y305 Humanities
    • Year 8 of Y305 Humanities
  • Year 1 of UPHA-VQ72 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of UCXA-QQ36 Undergraduate English and Latin Literature
  • UPDA-Y305 Undergraduate Humanities
    • Year 1 of Y305 Humanities
    • Year 2 of Y305 Humanities
    • Year 3 of Y305 Humanities
    • Year 4 of Y305 Humanities

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of UENA-VQ32 Undergraduate English and History
  • Year 1 of UTHA-QW34 Undergraduate English and Theatre Studies

This module is Core option list A for:

  • UPDA-Y304 Undergraduate English & Cultural Studies
    • Year 1 of Y304 English & Cultural Studies
    • Year 7 of Y304 English & Cultural Studies
  • Year 1 of UFRA-QR3A Undergraduate English and French
  • Year 1 of UPHA-VQ52 Undergraduate Philosophy, Literature and Classics