The First World War in Literature

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
18 March 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MLITQ391 Literature

Module description

Some of the most emotional and powerful literature of the 20th century was written by combatants and non-combatants during the First World War. Looking at writings in English and translation, as well as subsequent literary representations of the conflict, we will examine the unseen side of conflict.

In this module you will investigate the lost voices of war, the writings of women and civilians as well as soldiers; you will explore the formation of poetic canons of the First World War; and you will critically analyse images of homecoming, shellshock and memories of war in drama, poetry and narrative.

This module includes material on such topics as war, trauma, and bereavement.

Module aims

The module aims to
1. explore literary engagements with the First World War in different genres
2. analyse ways in which literary texts mediate traumatic events,
3. examine the process of memory and memorialization.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students are expected to have:

1. read and analysed one collection of poetry, and studied at least four other texts relating to the First World War;
2. produced a critique of an anthology of poetry demonstrating an understanding of canon formation;
3. developed arguments concerning the literary representations of the diverse experiences of war;
4. developed research skills by means of independent study and bibliographical searches;
5. developed IT skills by means of the virtual learning environment, Moodle and developed writing skills.

Module information

Please see Talis for a detailed reading list for this module.

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Formative: writing exercise    0% 
Coursework   Essay 1 (1,000 words)    25% 
Coursework   Essay 2 (2,000 words)    55% 
Coursework   Reflective Log (submit to FASer)    15% 
Practical   Participation    5% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Katharine Cockin, email:
Professor Katharine Cockin
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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