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Criticism and Theory: Critical and Literary Theory in a Global Context (EASM152)

StaffDr John Bolin - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module introduces you to a wealth of important critical material from around the world, including but also going beyond the work of writers and thinkers who have been influential within the Western Academy. In so doing, it aims to show how thinking globally can expand, reorient and enrich the way in which we read and practice literary criticism and cultural theory. Participants on the module will explore different world traditions of literary and cultural interpretation; they will be introduced to new theories and problems for reading literature and culture in an international context; and they will reflect on how writers situated in different historical and geographical positions have responded to the heightened global connectivity and intensified world-level forces we associate variously with the modern world system, imperialism and ‘globalisation’.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of key questions and debates concerning the study of literature and culture in a global context
  • 2. Demonstrate an advanced capacity to develop a reflexive critical position in relation to such questions and debates
  • 3. Demonstrate an advanced ability to grasp the applicability of such concerns to the analysis of cultural texts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an advanced and autonomous ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary and other cultural forms
  • 5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to digest, select and organise interdisciplinary material and to trace the development of debate across disciplinary boundaries
  • 6. Demonstrate an ability to make a contribution to the study of literature and culture
  • 7. Demonstrate an ability to devise, research and execute a programme of critical research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Through module work, demonstrate advanced communication skills and an ability to articulate your views convincingly
  • 9. Through essay-writing, demonstrate advanced research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and to write clear prose
  • 10. Through research for the module and essays, to demonstrate an advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Formalism, Structuralism
  • Deconstruction and Poststructuralism
  • Media, Culture and Postmodernism
  • Psychoanalysis and its Critics
  • Marxism, Critical Theory and New Historicism
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Gender and Queer Theory
  • Feminism
  • New Textualities
  • Globalisation and Global Studies

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20Seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Workshop
Guided Independent Study33Study group preparation and meetings
Guided Independent Study70Seminar participation (individual)
Guided Independent Study176Reading, research and essay preparation

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research report252500 words1-7, 9-10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up. Cohort feedback via seminars
Formal essay755000 words1-7, 9-10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up. Cohort feedback via seminars

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research report (2500 words)Research report (2500 words)1-7, 9-10Referral/Deferral Period
Formal essay (5000 words)Formal essay (5000 words)1-7, 9-10Referral/Deferral Period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

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Key words search

Criticism, theory, global, globalisation