Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Literature in Context: Poetry and Drama since 1800

Module summary

Module code: COML1054
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Henry Derbyshire

Specification

Aims

This course aims to:

• Introduce students to significant developments in poetry and drama from the late 1700s to the present.
• Further familiarise students with the terminology they will need to accurately describe poetic and dramatic form.
• Introduce students to some significant theoretical approaches used to analyse poetry and drama.
• Enable students to understand the complexity of poetic and dramatic form.
• Enable students to develop enhanced critical abilities in the analysis of text and performance.
• Develop in students the skills of academic argument, essay writing, research, both library and electronic and bibliographic skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Understand the development and complexity of the key forms of the poem and the drama.
2 Accurately describe the formal properties of poetic and dramatic texts, and make connections between texts and their cultural environment.
3 Demonstrate a broad understanding of the history of poetry and drama in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
4 Apply a range of theoretical approaches to the study of poetry and drama.
5 Show an enhanced critical awareness through close textual/performance analysis with the use of theory where appropriate.
6 Write cogent critical essays that offer a structured argument related to the content of the course.
7 Show initiative in discussing poetry and drama, including awareness of the possibility of more than one interpretation.
8 Show enhanced skills of academic argument, essay writing, research, both library and electronic and bibliographic skills.


Indicative content

Students will spend the first term studying significant poetry and drama of the nineteenth century, and the second term following the development of the two forms through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The first term might begin with a look at the Romantic poets, move through the shift from melodrama to naturalism and conclude with a look at prominent Victorian poets and dramatists, for instance Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti and Oscar Wilde. The second term would begin with manifestations of modernism in both poetic and dramatic form (perhaps Eliot, Yeats, Kaiser and Brecht) and move on to significant poets and playwrights of the last 60 years (perhaps Pinter, Plath, Churchill, Heaney, Butterworth). A poetry reading may be arranged and at least one theatre trip is an essential component of the course.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught by a mixture of lecture and seminar. In lectures, texts will be placed in their historical and cultural contexts and the development of poetic and dramatic form will be traced from the late 1700s to the present. In seminars texts will be subjected to close scrutiny and, through group discussion, students will be encouraged to develop their confidence in the accurate use of the main technical and critical terms which may be used to describe poetic and dramatic form and effect.

Assessment

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Poetry Close Reading
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment (Please use the numbers above to refer to these) 1-5, 7, 8
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting % 20
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 1,250
Outline Details: An analysis of a poetic text showing understanding of context and form.

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Essay
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment (Please use the numbers above to refer to these) 1-8
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting % 35
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 2500
Outline Details: An essay relating one or more texts to cultural context, formal properties and/or relevant literary theory.

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Performance analysis
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment (Please use the numbers above to refer to these) 1-5, 7, 8
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting % 20
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 1,250
Outline Details: An analysis of a selected play as seen in performance showing understanding of context and form.

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Exam
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment (Please use the numbers above to refer to these) 1- 8
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting % 25
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length Two hour exam
Outline Details: An essay question on twentieth century poetry and an essay question on two twentieth century plays.

Students are not required to pass all components in order to pass the course.