Module Catalogue 2022/23

SEL3404 : Jazz-Age Magazines

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kirsten MacLeod
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module introduces students to the study of literary texts within the contexts of their publications in magazines. It also invites students to consider the magazine as a literary genre in its own right that can be read and analysed similarly to a conventional literary text. The module focuses on American literature and magazines of the 1920s, a period in which most writers published in and derived significant income from magazines (including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, and T. S. Eliot). In magazines, these writers’ works appeared alongside an array of other material – other literary content by writers known and unknown to us now; advertisements; political manifestoes; illustrations and art work; shopping and fashion tips; non-fiction material on popular fads of the day; etc. Students will be introduced to methodologies, theoretical approaches, and case studies from the disciplines of book history and periodical studies for engaging with literary texts in magazine contexts and with magazines as literary texts. Students will learn how the magazine served as a key medium for literature in this period and how reading literature in magazines is a different form of close reading and allows for different interpretations of literary texts than analysing them in isolation. They will encounter familiar canonical authors in these magazines as well as authors who were extremely popular or important to literary culture in the 1920s but are now lesser known, thereby gaining a broad understanding of the literary field of popular and “high” culture. They will explore the representation of key movements and themes through these authors and the magazines in which they appeared.

Outline Of Syllabus

In the first weeks, students will be introduced through lectures to the relevant theories and methodologies. There will also be “practical” sessions in a computer lab, learning to access and search the magazines through the various databases in which the material is held. The module will begin with a defined set of literary texts and/or themes to be read in magazine context. Later the core texts will consists of critical material which will serve as the basis for a freer and individual student-defined survey of magazine content. Set texts will include at least one canonical and one non-canonical author; set themes may include flappers, jazz, queer modernism, Harlem Renaissance, celebrity culture, consumer culture, the city; magazines studied will include popular mass-market magazines, avant-garde literary magazines, pulp magazines, and fashion and society magazines.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

•       Knowledge of the relationship between magazines and literary culture in early 20th C America
•       Familiarity with a range of canonical and popular literary texts and with a range of American periodicals of the 1920s
•       Ability to read literary texts in a historicized and medium-specific manner
•       Familiarity with current theory and critical approaches in Modernist Studies, American Literary Studies, Periodical Studies and Book History
•       Understanding of the contexts of production, reception, and circulation of literary texts
•       Knowledge of literary and cultural debates of the period

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       Critical analysis and critical self-reflection
•       Independent research
•       Sophisticated use of online databases for research
•       Critical engagement with theory and current scholarship

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1130:00130:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide the historical, critical, and theoretical background. Small group teaching (seminars) in conjunction with student led study groups will enable students to discuss and share ideas and findings. Workshops will introduce students to strategies and skills for working with the online magazine databases and resources. Project supervision will allow students the opportunity for formative feedback on their developing portfolio. Directed research and reading and independent research as guided by module leader are an essential element of learning in this module as in humanities subjects.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M501700 words of assessed writing and evidence of weekly note taking
Research paper1A502300 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1Mdiscussion board postings
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The portfolio is suitable to the exploratory and developmental nature of the module. The portfolio will consist of student documentation of weekly findings, set tasks that include self-reflexion on their work for the module as well as critical and analytical work. The research paper (with an option of essay or conference paper format) will be derived from student’s findings and interests, and will enable them to develop a detailed and original analysis of a topic in relation to the scholarly field.
Written exercise: The discussion board postings will allow informal exchange of key findings.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.