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Literature 1A: Introduction to Literary Studies in English


Admission requirements



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 basic principles of essay presentation according to the MLA style sheet.

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 following the basic principles of the MLA style sheet.


The timetable will be available by June 1st at:

Mode of instruction

A weekly one-hour lecture followed by a two-hour tutorial

Assessment method

A mid-term essay of 500-750 words, written and presented according to the specifications outlined and discussed during the lectures and tutorials in week 4 and 5. Deadline: the tutorial in week 7 (25%). Students must submit one hard copy during the tutorial in week 7, and must also submit one electronic copy via the SafeAssign button on the Blackboard site in week 7.

  • A short written quiz on the material covered in weeks 1-6 (15%), at the start of the tutorial in week 7.

  • A written exam in December on the material covered in weeks 7-12 (60%).


This course is supported by Blackboard.. The reading material for Week 1 will be available in the Course Documents folder of the Blackboard site.

Reading list

  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (Penguin)

  • Stephen Greenblatt et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, Vol. I and II (Norton)

  • Sharon Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (Norton)

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables (Oxford World’s Classics)

  • Alfred Hitchcock (dir.), North by Northwest (DVD)

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


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Studentcounsellor Bachelor: Ms. S.H.J. Bollen, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103B.
Coordinator of Studies Master: Ms. K. van der Zeeuw-Filemon, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.


The poems that are to be read for week 1 and week 2 are available in the course documents folder on the Blackboard site.