Successful completion of Literature 1A, 1B, 2 and 3 or equivalent.
This course offers a selection of texts from the various literatures in English of the period 1969-2010, with an emphasis on the last 15 years. We will study the work of authors like John Fowles, J.M. Coetzee, A.S. Byatt, Derek Walcott, Jhumpa Lahiri and Philip Roth in relation to the great shifts taking place within late 20th-century literature (e.g. Postmodernism and Postcolonialism), but also in relation to the social, political and cultural changes after World War II (with themes such as ‘feminism’, ‘race’, ‘migration and globalisation’, and ‘9/11’).
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 post-War 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, including short presentations, 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.
After having completed this course:
Students have insight in (the relationship between) the most important literary movements in contemporary literatures in English (1960s until the present).
Students can apply concepts such as postmodernism and postcolonialism and analyse contemporary texts in the light of these theories.
Students can analyze the texts under scrutiny within the context of relevant cultural issues and debates of the period.
The timetable is available on the BA English website
Mode of instruction
Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 24hrs
Time for studying the compulsory literature: 220hrs
Time for presentation preparation, research and writing of essay: 36hrs
Total course load: 280 hours
Essay of 3000-3500 words (50%)
Mini-seminar (presentation) (40%)
Active classroom participation (10%)
A sufficient grade (6.0 or higher) for classroom participation is required for completion of the course.
If the final grade is 5 or less students may only resit the insufficient course component(s). Students may not resit the participation (10%) component.
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.
The following – widely available – books must be purchased and studied:
John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
A.S. Byatt, Possession
Derek Walcott, Omeros
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
Ian McEwan, Saturday
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America
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