LT961-7-SP-CO:
Literature and the First World War

The details
2019/20
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Spring
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
20
20 August 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

(none)

Module description

Literature has been a site of conflict in the cultural history of the First World War. In The Social Mission of English Criticism: 1848-1932 (1983), Chris Baldick demonstrated that when the relatively new university subject of literature (under the generic term “English”) was developing during the First World War, academics proclaimed that it was poetry which would save the nation. In 1919 the newly formed British Drama League aimed to bring about a lasting peace by promoting amateur dramatics nationwide.

The idea of poetry as a repository of the authentic experiences of the “trench” poets as lost warriors has contributed to an anglocentric perspective on the war and a reinforcement of poetry as the ultimate aesthetic form. Such a perspective, distilled in Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (1975), was challenged by Claire Tylee, The Great War and Women’s Consciousness (1990) as well as Jay Winter, Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995).

This module draws on a wide and rich field of literature and literary criticism. It locates the literary engagements with the First World War in the global context of wartime responses and the wider reflection on the impact of war which reverberated through genres and literary and cultural movements.

Module aims

This module aims to explore:

• a diverse range of literary writings of combatants and non-combatants during the First World War and subsequent literary representations of the conflict.
• the dominance of poetry as a genre associated with the First World War.
• the difficulties of representing the war on stage.
• the scope of the short story and the longer form of the novel in tackling the complex aspects of wartime experiences of trauma.
• the tendency of autobiographical forms to manage ideas of authenticity and intimacy by means of confession and testimony.

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of literary form in the representations of the diverse experiences of war;
2. Analyse the significance of literary engagements with the First World War by producing effective close readings of literary texts
3. Examine the global cultural contexts of writing, reading and performing representations of the First World War
4. Apply relevant theoretical approaches to the analysis of literary engagements with experiences of trauma, memory.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly two-hour seminars. Digitised books, articles, chapters and extracts will be available on Talis.

Bibliography

This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Presentations 20%
Coursework Essay (4,000 words) 24/04/2020 80%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Professor Katharine Cockin
LiFTS General Office – email liftstt@essex.ac.uk Tel. 01206 - 872626

 

Availability
Yes
No
No

External examiner

Dr Paul Corthorn
Queen's University Belfast
Senior Lecturer in Modern British History
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 21 hours, 21 (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

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.