Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title The Modern
Code ENGL770
Coordinator Dr SE Oliver
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 15


- Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of the concepts of ‘the modern’ and modernity, particularly as they relate to a range of early twentieth-century literary texts.

- Students will demonstrate advanced skills in analysing those texts in relation to relevant intellectual and material contexts.

- Students will demonstrate awareness of modernism as examples of individual art works and as a global network of related individuals, venues and works.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts.

(LO2) Students will acquire an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the political and ideological aspects of literary texts and how they can be situated within appropriate cultural and social contexts.

(LO3) Students will gain a critical appreciation of the ways in which texts can be situated within literary history, including issues of genre, influence, and creation and reception.

(LO4) Students will acquire advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

(LO5) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

(S1) Students will acquire a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S2) Students will gain advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse.

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S6) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S7) Students will acquire advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

(S8) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines.



Topics and authors on the syllabus may be subject to change, and are intended here to show the kind of reading required for each week.

Topics studied may include: theories of modernity, the city, little magazines, literary avant-gardes, links between literary modernism and the visual arts, and psychoanalytic, Marxist and feminist approaches to modernism.

Authors may include: T.S. Eliot, Hope Mirrlees, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, Jean Toomer, Nancy Cunard.

Reading for seminars will typically include ‘literary’ reading (a short novel, poems, short stories or essays, some to be bought or borrowed, some made available through Vital), alongside scholarly and theoretical essays, which will be made available through Vital. There will sometimes be web resources to complement the reading, eg the Modernist Journals Project, a searchable database of modernist magazines. Students will be expected to read and prepare reflections on the set c ontent for each seminar.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method: fortnightly 2-hour seminars
Attendance recorded: Yes
Self-directed student hours: During this time, students will be required to read ahead to fulfil their required weekly reading, and also to read more widely from an extensive list of secondary material provided by the convenor - this will be made available via Canvas and the library e-reading list. Canvas will also give students access to a series of blended learning options (links to cinematic/televisual/documentary/online materials) that will enhance their learning. This time will also be used to write up assessment, both formative and summative.

The majority of teaching will be delivered face to face on campus. Online delivery will be used to complement the on campus delivery and where technology affords a better learning experience.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   12


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 136


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Plan for summative assessment no 2.         
Summative coursework no 2. Resit opportunity    90       
Summative coursework no.1. Resit opportunity    10       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.