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EN3C7-30 Devolutionary British Fiction

Department
English and Comparative Literary Studies
Level
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Michael Gardiner
Credit value
30
Module duration
20 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module looks at issues of political power, representation, democracy, and decline in Britain, in particular relative to its constituent nations (including England), since World War Two. It introduces approaches to the overlap between constitutional and cultural questions of the post-1940s British state, and takes in issues of consensus, Thatcherism, the two sets of national devolution referendums (1979, 1997), and the 2014 independence referendum and its aftermath.

Module web page

Module aims

Thematic explorations take in ideas surrounding place, experience, physicality and ‘embodiedness’, English Literature’s conception of a canon, questions of language and dialect in post-war culture, anti-psychiatry and its turn to the historical, and the politics of Standard and non-Standard English. The module sets one text every week and is split into sections considering

  1. Post-war consensus, its links to the welfare state and to the post-1979 world, and its defence or otherwise of British values;
  2. the Scottish Literary Renaissance, its relation to constitutional issue and the canon of English;
  3. cultures of empire and their persistence or otherwise;
  4. History, memory, and nostalgia in British, sub-British, and ‘post-British’ culture.
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.

  1. Introduction
    A) Consensus
  2. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), and 'England, Your England' (1941)
  3. Anthony Burges, A Clockwork Orange (1962)
  4. Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960)
  5. Raymond Williams, The Volunteers (1978)
  6. Gillian Slovo, Ten Days (2016)

B) Thatcherism
8. Chris Mullen, A Very British Coup (1982)
9. David Peace, GB84 (2004)
10. dir. Steve McQueen, Hunger (2008)

C) The Second Scottish Literary Renaissance
11. Alasdair Gray, Lanark (1981)
12. James Kelman, How Late It Was, How Late (1994)
13. Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (1993)
14. Janice Galloway, The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989)

D) Melacholia, Mapping, Nostalgia, Hauntology
15. J.G.Ballard, Concrete Island (1974)
17. Jez Butterworth, Jersusalem (2009)
18. Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life (2014)
19. Laura Oldfield Ford, Savage Messiah (2011)
20. Robin Hardy, The Wicker Man (1973)

Learning outcomes

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

  • Acquire knowledge of key concepts and themes in post-war British cultural history
  • Develop analytical and critical skills through close reading of the set texts
  • Adjust to Honours level scholarly standards and protocols of academic presentation
  • Explore methodologies for reading texts within the context of contemporary culture
  • Indicate awareness of various critical, analytical, and creative approaches to the production of knowledge about course content
  • Exhibit an effective command of written English together with a wide-ranging and accurate vocabulary
  • Show command of the protocols of textual analysis and critical argument
  • Conduct independent research through self-generated questions
Indicative reading list

This comes from the module’s website at
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/fulllist/special/en263/

Subject specific skills

Understanding of the broad subject area of devolution, constitution, and culture, as well as aspects of post-war culture that fit into the department’s modern literature profile. Students should be able to make presentations and argue cases in this field, working individually and (briefly) in groups, and to write cogent 5000-word essays making a specific original argument within this field.

Transferable skills

Understanding of the broad subject area of devolution, constitution, and culture, as well as aspects of post-war culture that fit into the department’s modern literature profile. Students should be able to make presentations and argue cases in this field, working individually and (briefly) in groups, and to write cogent 5000-word essays making a specific original argument within this field.

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 18 sessions of 1 hour 30 minutes (9%)
Private study 273 hours (91%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Reading & research.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Assessed essay 50%

5000-word essay

Assessed essay 50%

5000-word essay

Feedback on assessment

Tabula

Courses

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of UCXA-QQ36 Undergraduate English and Latin Literature

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 3 of UENA-Q300 Undergraduate English Literature
  • Year 3 of UENA-QP36 Undergraduate English Literature and Creative Writing
  • Year 3 of UENA-VQ32 Undergraduate English and History
  • Year 4 of UENA-VQ33 Undergraduate English and History (with Intercalated year)
  • Year 4 of UENA-QW35 Undergraduate English and Theatre Studies with Intercalated Year
  • Year 4 of UFIA-QW25 Undergraduate Film and Literature

This module is Core option list C for:

  • Year 4 of UCXA-QQ38 Undergraduate Classics and English (with Intercalated Year)

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 2 of UCXA-QQ36 Undergraduate English and Latin Literature
  • Year 3 of UTHA-QW34 Undergraduate English and Theatre Studies

This module is Option list C for:

  • Year 3 of UPHA-VQ72 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature
  • Year 4 of UPHA-VQ73 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature with Intercalated Year