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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 from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. The focus will lie on the technical as well as cultural aspects of these works in their historical contexts. By doing a writing assignment students will learn to write a literary-critical essay, and will develop skills 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 knowledge of key literary genres, important structural and stylistic aspects and basic literary-critical terms, which together form the foundation of their literary studies (in English) at Leiden University. 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 on the website

Mode of instruction

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

Assessment method

An essay of 500-750 words (20%).
A mid-term exam (30%) during the October study/exam week.
An end-of-term exam during the December exam week (50%).


Blackboard is used in the course to make available study and revision materials for students and to post announcements. See Blackboard

Reading list

  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (Penguin)

  • Stephen Greenblatt et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th or 9th edition, Vol. I and II (Norton)

  • Sharon Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (Norton)

  • Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (uitgever: faber and faber)

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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Co-ordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.