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

Postgraduate Course: Strangers to Ourselves: Post-war & Contemporary Writing (ENLI11138)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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.

*This course is taught jointly with undergraduate students and consequently postgraduate places are limited
Course description 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)

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).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  5
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 4,000 word essay (100% of the final mark).
Feedback Students will receive feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate their understanding of critical issues in post-war and contemporary writing, such as identity, gender, sexuality, class, race and nationhood.
  2. Speak and write fluently about these issues in relation to the primary texts, and the socio-historical contexts in which they are embedded.
  3. Speak and write fluently about these issues in relation to the primary texts, and the socio-historical contexts in which they are embedded.
  4. 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.
  5. Articulate how their own thinking about the key course issues has developed.
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.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG ENLI10332
Course organiserProf Olga Taxidou
Tel: (0131 6)50 3611
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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