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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Strangers to Ourselves: Post-war & Contemporary Writing (ENLI10332)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will aim to meet student demand for the opportunity to study post-war and contemporary British writing. In effect a survey of canonical and emerging writers of the period, the course will significantly contribute to the department's existing core provision of courses on mid-twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
In addition to the skills training common to all English Literature Honours courses (essay writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning) this course will aim to develop in students the ability to:
a) demonstrate their understanding of critical issues in post-war and contemporary writing, such as identity, gender, sexuality, class, race and nationhood;
b) speak and write fluently about these issues in relation to the primary texts, and the socio-historical contexts in which they are embedded;
c) apply a range of post-war literary theories, such as feminist literary criticism, postcolonialism, postmodernism and trauma theory, to the primary texts on the course, and evaluate these theories in relation to each other;
d) reflect constructively on good learning practice;
e) articulate how their own thinking about the key course issues has developed.

Assessment Information
One semester essay of up to 2,500 words (25% of final mark)

and one two-hour exam (75% of final mark).
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description The course will introduce students to a range of post-war writing through a consideration of figures of the stranger: presented here as threatening intruders, ambivalent tricksters, mimics, and aspirant immigrants, as well as an unhiemlich sense of 'strangeness within' as a constituent factor in the creation of identity. The course will deploy Julia Kristeva's notion that we are all 'strangers to ourselves' as a starting point for discussions of the boundaries of place, memory, literary form and identity (be it in terms of gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity or nationality).
Syllabus 1. Introduction: others and ourselves; Muriel Spark, The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960)

2. Harold Pinter, The Birthday Party (1958) & Sarah Kane, Blasted (1995)

3. Basil Bunting, Briggflatts (1965)

4. V.S. Naipaul, The Mimic Men (1967)

5. Sam Selvon, Moses Ascending (1975)

6. Tony Harrison, V. (1981) & Jackie Kay, The Adoption Papers (1991)

7. Caryl Phillips, The Nature of Blood (1997)

8. Essay Completion Week

9. W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (2001)

10. Ian McEwan, Saturday (2005)

11. Leila Aboulela, Minaret (2005)
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Background Bibliography
Ahmed, Sara, Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality. London and New York: Routledge, 2000
Benhabib, Seyla, The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2004.
Billington, Michael, The Life and Work of Harold Pinter. London: Faber, 1997.
Bhabha, Homi, The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.
Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London and New York: Routledge, 1990.
Derrida, Jacques, and Anne Dufourmantelle, Of Hospitality. Trans. Rachel Bowlby. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000.
Felman, Shoshana, and Dori Laub, Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.
Gilroy, Paul, 'There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack': The Cultural Politics of Race and Nation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
--, After Empire: Melancholia or Convivial Culture? London and New York: Routledge, 2004.
Kristeva, Julia, Strangers to Ourselves. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York and London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991.
Lyotard, Jean-Francois, The Postmodern Condition. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984.
Sierz, Aleks, In Yer Face Theatre. London: Faber, 2001.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern 200 hours.
KeywordsPost-war, contemporary, literature, stranger.
Course organiserDr David Farrier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3607
Course secretaryMs June Haigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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