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 Body
Code ENGL773
Coordinator Professor D Rees-Jones
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 15


This module seeks to provide students an opportunity to read and analyse different theories of the body and explore them within literary texts drawn from the modern and contemporary period. The module offers students a supportive intellectual environment in which to critique representations of the body in society, thereby contributing to greater awareness of others and difference and promoting social cohesion in turn. It embodies a holistic approach to learning that is self-aware and intellectually rigorous through focused reading, learning and discussion as well as through modes of authentic assessment. It supports the university’s wider agenda for research-connected teaching and for students to gain confidence which reflects a key hallmark of the Liverpool graduate.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary texts, more specifically the different theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of the body.

(LO2) Students will gain 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, particularly in independent interpretations of literary representations of the body.

(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, especially in the context of representations of the body in modern and contemporary literature.

(LO4) Students will gain advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates within theories of the body.

(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 gain 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 gain 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.



The key topics and themes covered will include the study of theories of the body in the context of disability, gender, queer studies as well as critical race theory and postcolonial studies. These approaches will be used to study the representations of the maternal body, the body in pain and the ageing body (for example) in a range of literary texts from the modern and contemporary period. Key texts will be made available to students via the module’s library reading list and relevant learning resources will be made available through VITAL. Each week’s seminar will be structured around a key theme or topic which students will study through required theoretical texts and this will be accompanied with, and linked to, a required literary text to stimulate discussion. Secondary material will be suggested to students to further explore each week’s concerns. Students will be expected to complete independent reading in preparation for seminars, and to pursue secondary r eading through consulting the module’s VITAL page and accessing resources both on-line and in the library.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Schedule directed student hours: 12 hours
Unscheduled directed student hours: 138
Attendance recorded: Yes
Description of how self-directed learning hours may be used: in Independent study

Seminars planned to be delivered face-to-face, but will pivot to remote synchronous delivery if necessary (due to Covid-19).

Teaching Schedule

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

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 138


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Guided essay based on a range of questions. Re-sit opportunity available. Anonymous marking.    60       
Essay plan for guided essay.         
Creative-critical essay following consultation with tutor. Re-sit opportunity available. Anonymous marking.    40       

Recommended Texts

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