Subject Area: English
This course will develop first year students’ skills in English through a focused introduction to the development of English literature in time and place. Taking as its starting point the notion that each period sees itself as “modern”, the course will concentrate on key historical shifts in English literary culture from 1500 to the present. Students’ understanding of literary movements will be extended through a focus on other kinds of contexts, such as national and transnational frameworks. Further, by considering the extent to which modernity is about rewriting the past, it will associate periodization with issues of canonicity. Canonicity will be approached mainly in terms of literary fashion and literary value: we will consider when and why some texts remain read and taught, and in what ways they are consumed. The course will develop students’ skills in literary analysis as a basis for textual interpretation and aesthetic judgement.