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Literature 1A: Introduction to Literary Studies in English



During this course students (of English) will learn the basic skills necessary for the study of (English-language) literature. The student will learn how to analyse poetry, prose and drama by studying works of English-language literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. The focus will lie on the technical as well as cultural aspects of works of literature and their historical contexts. By doing several writing assignments students will learn to write a literary-critical essay, and how to independently find and use secondary sources. Attention will also be paid to the intricacies of essay presentation according to the MLA style sheet.

Teaching method

One hour lecture and two hour seminar per week.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will have gained knowledge of the key genres, technical aspects and critical terms that will form the foundation for the further development of an academic understanding of the wide-ranging scope of English-language literature. The student will also be able to independently research, write and present a literary-critical essay according to the MLA style sheet.

Required reading


  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (Penguin).

  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Penguin).

  • Martin Gray, A Dictionary of Literary Terms (Longman).

    *Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition (MLA). - Stephen Greenblatt et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, Vol. I and II (Norton).

  • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers (Penguin).

  • Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (Penguin).


  • Orson Welles (dir), Citizen Kane (Indies).

Test method

Three writing assignments (0%, 10%, 20%) and a final written exam (70%).

Time table

Click here for the timetable


English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or by mail:


Students can register through U-twist before 15 July. After 15 July students can only register through the Departmental Office.


A blackboard site will be available to students a week before the start of the semester.


The reading for week 1 is available on the Blackboard site.