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SEL1004 : Introduction to Literary Studies II

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kate De Rycker
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module provides an introduction to the literary history of the medieval period (c.700-1500) the Renaissance (c.1500-1680), and the 'long eighteenth century' (c.1680-1830) and gives students an opportunity to conduct independent research into a historical text of their choice. We will consider how literary forms, genres, and technologies evolve; how literary canons, anthologies, and survey courses are created and argued over right up till today; and how modern literary critics continue to explore contemporary concerns through new ways of looking at older historical texts. This module will help students practise the skills that they will need throughout their degree (e.g. oral presentation, peer review, academic writing) as well as discovering areas of research specialism within the school that they can go on to master later in their degree (e.g. scholarly editing, digital humanities). Ultimately this module aims to give students the confidence to conduct independent research, and to deal confidently in the criticism of literary texts and cultures.

Outline Of Syllabus

The specific texts taught on this module are subject to change due to variation in the team of lecturers who teach on this course. Students will be told in December which texts they'll definitely be studying. In the first part of this course, we will be focusing on a new primary text each week, allowing students to develop their knowledge about key literary features, genres, and context. Having gained a grounding in early period texts, students will then be able to direct their own study by producing a scholarly edition of an excerpt from their chosen text, with the help of specialists in the field.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion167:0067:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Film screening
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading118:0088:00Seminar and lecture preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops51:005:00Workshops relating to students final project
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce the students to key literary texts, concepts, and critical paradigms used on the course. Seminars will be used to practice the skills outcomes outlined above. There will be a screening of a play. Study groups provide students with the opportunity to conduct further research into literary history and to discuss their learning. After the Easter break students will be taught scholarly editing skills for their research project. Seminars and study groups will be used for oral presentation of concept, peer review, and assessment preparation.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M502,000 word essay
Portfolio2A502,000 word 'edition' including: headnote and annotation to a self selected text.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module supports students in developing written argument and refining their research skills.

Their first assessment of an essay allows students to demonstrate their ability to create their own argument based on their close reading of literary texts, supported with secondary criticism and/or historical evidence.

For their second assessment, students will prepare their own 'edition' of a self-selected text. This will include a headnote making a case for the literary or cultural value of their chosen text, and an annotated extract from the text.

Reading Lists