Undergraduate Course: George Orwell and the Politics of Literature (ENLI10335)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||George Orwell bore witness to many of the definitive political events of the first half of the twentieth century and expanded the boundaries of a variety of genres. This course places Orwell's work in its historical context, and asks what it means to make political writing into an art.
George Orwell is one of the most famous writers of the twentieth century, and terms such as 'Orwellian', 'Big Brother', and '1984' have entered the language. But Orwell was more than the author of 'Animal Farm' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. He dedicated his life to making political writing into an art, and he bore witness to many of the definitive events and movements of the first half of the century: the Great Depression, imperial decline, communism, fascism, and wars that defined the modern world. Through his work we can gain an unparalleled insight into the cultural debates of the 1930s and 40s, and also examine the political uses of a variety of genres: the realist novel, the documentary and the travelogue, satire and dystopia, the essay and the allegorical fable. The course will therefore consider the relationship between text and context as well as the formal issues involved in bringing politics into literature, and question what it means to talk of the 'politics of literature' more generally.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||one Course Essay of c. 2,500 words (40%);
one time-limited Final Essay of c. 3,000 words (60%)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of English Literature: independent reading, essay planning and writing and group work.
- Show knowledge of George Orwell's oeuvre, including his fiction, documentary and essay writing.
- Demonstrate familiarity with the seminal literary and historical contexts in which Orwell wrote.
- Reflect critically on the formal issues involved in bringing politics into literature.
- Engage with secondary criticism relevant to Orwell's writing.
|Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)|
Burmese Days (1934)
Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1935)
The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)
Homage to Catalonia (1938)
Coming Up for Air (1939)
The Lion and the Unicorn (1941)
Animal Farm (1945)
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
|Course organiser||Dr Martin Schauss
|Course secretary||Miss Hope Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167