Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Cities of Literature: Metropolitan Modernities (ENLI10366)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will introduce students to the various ways in which cities around the world have been imagined, experienced and represented, enabling students to explore the inter-relationship between modernity and urban environments through twentieth-century and contemporary literature and film.
Course description This team-taught course will introduce students to the various ways in which cities around the world have been imagined, experience and represented. Covering cities prominent in Western modernist arts and literature (London, Paris, New York) as well as postcolonial cities (Johannesburg, Fort de France) and imagined cities (Calvino's Venice), the course will give a sense of the diverse ways in which expressions of modernity are intimately linked to the idea and the experience of the city. Beginning with Walter Benjamin's explorations of walking in the city, the course will consider such key figures as the flâneur, the outsider, the migrant, the detective, and the criminal, while key themes will include psychogeography, dystopian cities, and the city as text, as archive, as spectral, and as divided. Primary literary texts ' from Virginia Woolf to Virginia Woolf, Raymond Chandler to W.G. Sebald ' will be supplemented by film screenings (tbc) and visual material.

1. Introduction to cities and modernity
2. Paris: Jean Rhys, Quartet
3. Venice: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
4. Berlin: Peter Schneider, The Wall Jumper
5. Johannesburg: Ivan Vladislavich, Portrait with Keys
6. London: Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
7. Urban Ecologies: Patrick Chamoiseau, Texaco
8. The Noir City: Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
9. The Weird City: China Mieville, The City and the City
10. Cities, Archives and Memory: W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course each student will be able to demonstrate their understanding of critical issues in relation to the city as a crucial site in the production of modern literature and modernity.
  2. By the end of the course each student will be able to speak and write fluently about these issues in relation to the primary texts, and the global, socio-historical contexts in which they are embedded.
  3. By the end of the course each student will be able to apply a range of relevant literary theories, such as spatial theory, feminist literary criticism, postcolonialism, postmodernism and trauma theory, to the primary texts on the course, and evaluate these theories in relation to each other.
  4. By the end of the course each student will be able to articulate how their own thinking about the key course issues has developed.
  5. By the end of the course each student will be able to reflect constructively on good learning and research practice.
Reading List
Compulsory Primary Texts:
Jean Rhys, Quartet
Ivan Vladislavich, Portrait with Keys
Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Patrick Chamoiseau, Texaco
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz

Recommended Reading:
Marc Auge, Non-Places
Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project / Paris: Capital of the Nineteenth Century
Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson, eds., Blackwell Companion to the City
Michel De Certau, The Practice of Everyday Living (vol. 1)
Mike Davies, Planet of Slums
James Donald, Imaging the Modern City
Desmond Harding, Writing the City: Urban Visions and Literary Modernism
John McLeod, Postcolonial London
Kevin McNamara, The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature
Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall, Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis
Angel Rama, The Lettered City
Abdu Malique Simone, For the City Yet To Come
Tony Tanner, Venice Desired
Andrew Thacker, Modernism, Space and the City
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Simon Cooke
Tel: (0131 6)51 3996
Course secretaryMrs Anne Budo
Tel: (0131 6)50 4161
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information