EAS3180 - Literature/Anti-Literature

2021/2 Module description

StaffDr John Bolin - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesNone
Co-requisitesNone
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module focuses on ways writers and theorists from different periods and places have engaged with constructions of the literary, and have deployed innovative fictional machines to test the limits of such constructions. (Authors we will read include Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Roth, Marilynne Robinson, JM Coetzee, David Foster Wallace, Cormac McCarthy and Thomas Bernhard). As its name suggests, this module centres on acts of subversion or countering, and how literature has been defined against itself and other discoursesThis course is therefore concerned with the underpinnings of our notions about what literature itself is, and the potentially negative force of the literary (a force which might be interpreted as social critique, ethical potentiality, or something more disturbing or undefinable).

Module aims

  • To engage you in a critical debate concerning a range of innovative and/or influential novelistic texts. Concerned with both the roots of the novel and its modern manifestations, it explores the links (allusive, intertextual, and otherwise) between text, theory, and counter-text. It intends to deepen your understanding of a number of issues central to debates around literature today. Connecting writers and theorists from different national backgrounds as well as time periods, this module closely examines form and content in the light of theory to ask: What is the relation of the literary to history, politics, and the ethical? How might literature be pedagogical, affective, or involved with drives and intensities that are not primarily cognitive?
  • You will work with a wide range of texts and improve your close-reading and analytic skills. The assessment component consisting of a traditional essay, meanwhile, will enable you to build on your essay-writing skills.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an advanced appreciation of the literary in writing drawn from a range of cultures and periods
  • 2. Demonstrate an advanced critical understanding of a range of relevant contexts (including, but not limited to, cultural, historical, political, philosophical)
  • 3. Demonstrate a sophisticated capacity to understand, apply and consider the limits of various theoretical approaches to literary texts

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an intelligent and sophisticated ability to analyse literature
  • 5. Demonstrate an advanced and precise ability to work from the detail of literary texts with an appreciation for their formal aspects
  • 6. Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical frameworks and to apply these to literary texts
  • 7. Demonstrate an ability to construct a coherent and interesting argument engaging with the materials of the course in a way that exhibits intelligent thought

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Demonstrate an ability to communicate complex ideas convincingly
  • 9. Demonstrate an ability to work effectively individually
  • 10. Demonstrate an advanced ability to digest, select, and organise interdisciplinary material and to trace the development of debate across disciplinary boundaries
  • 11. Through essay writing and other assignments, demonstrate advanced research and bibliographic skills, and intellectually mature capacity to construct a coherent and substantiated argument
  • 12. Demonstrate an ability to write clear and correct prose

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:

  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed., edited by Michael Shinagel)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground in Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Perennial Classics), (New York: Harper and Row, 1968)
  • Samuel Beckett, Molloy
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
  • Thomas Bernhard, The Loser
  • Philip Roth, The Counterlife
  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
  • Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • J.M. Coetzee, The Master of Petersburg
  • David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

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

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
332670

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching33Seminars (whether online or on campus)
Guided independent study33Study group meetings and preparation (whether online or on campus)
Guided independent study70Seminar preparation (independent ) (whether online or on campus)
Guided independent study164Reading, research and essay preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar preparation10 minutes1-9Tutor feedback with opportunity for tutorial follow up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay401500 words1-8, 10-12Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Essay553000 words1-8, 10-12Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Presentation55 minutes1-10, 12Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-8, 10-12Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1-8, 10-12Referral/Deferral period
Group presentationEssay (500 words)1-8, 10-12Referral/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 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed., edited by Michael Shinagel)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground in Great Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Perennial Classics), (New York: Harper and Row, 1968)
  • Samuel Beckett, Molloy
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
  • Thomas Bernhard, The Loser
  • Philip Roth, The Counterlife
  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
  • Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • J.M. Coetzee, The Master of Petersburg
  • David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
  • Selected Secondary Texts: Please see ELE for the full list
  • Any scholarly edition of the following will do.
  • Georg Lukács, Theory of the Novel
  • J.M. Coetzee, Doubling the Point
  • Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel
  • Georges Bataille, Literature and Evil
  • Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel

Unless indicated otherwise, any scholarly edition of the above will do.

N.B. The above is an indication of the reading list only and may not necessarily be the same from year to year. You should purchase your own copies of the reading list, and can find an up-to-date copy of the list on the module’s ELE page, below.

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=11196

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

14/01/2014

Last revision date

27/07/2020

Key words search

Literary, novel, theory, philosophy

Important please note

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