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Literature 5B: Anglo-American Modernism


Admission requirements

Successful completion of Literature 1A, 1B, 2 and 3 or equivalent.


This course will give an overview of literature written in Great Britain, Ireland and the United States between ca. 1890 and 1940, the period of Modernism, noted for its international and transatlantic dynamics. Keywords of this period are “subjectivity”, “epistemology”, “relativism” and “-ism”. Next to a focus on the formal and experimental aspects of Modernist texts, this literature will be studied in a larger context (developments in the fields of science and the arts, social and political developments).
We will study canonical Modernist writers such as W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, H.D., Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, as well as the importance of the various avant-garde manifestoes and magazines such as BLAST.

Course objectives

This course will extend and deepen the power of students’ literary critical analysis through in-depth consideration of texts. Students will explore critical debates central to the literature of the Modernist period. The course will also aim to extend the students’ skills in the reading of narrative and the understanding of the relationship of a text to its cultural/social context. Students will be encouraged to share analytical and critical views on the texts ascribed in class discussion, and will focus research skills in the writing of a final essay. This essay will be on a relevant subject of their own choice within the parameters of the course, and will further extend the students’ critical skills and their ability to produce good, clear writing. A final exam will test students’ knowledge of the literature of the period, and give them an opportunity to display their insight, their familiarity with the texts, and the range of their critical ideas.


The timetable is available on the BA English website

Mode of instruction

Two-hour seminar per week.

Course Load

The course load of this course is 280 hours.

  • hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 26

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 206

  • time to prepare for the exam and/or write a paper (including reading / research): 48

Assessment method

  • Final written test (50%)

  • Essay of 3000 words (50%), one needs to have a sufficient mark (6.0 or higher) in order to pass

If the final mark (result of written test + sufficient mark voor essay) is a 5 or lower, the written test may be resit once for 50% of the final mark.

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th or 9th edition, Volume II or Volume F: The Twentieth Century and After (N.B. the 9th edn contains the complete texts of both Mrs. Dalloway and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, so these need not to be bought separately!)

  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin)

  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Penguin)

  • E.M Forster, A Passage to India (Penguin)

  • William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (Oxford World’s Classics)

  • Henry James, What Maisie Knew (Penguin)

  • Texts in Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. Please note that students other than BA English language and culture studies will have to have permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Student administration Van Eyckhof