This programme examines a range of literary and theoretical contexts, introducing ways that writing and imagination shape and share in cultural and political processes.
You will explore the ways literature since 1900 has sought to change and modernise itself, in the context of wider developments of modernity characterising the age.
Your studies will take you through a broad and fascinating field, from the originators of literary ‘modernity’ – including TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf – to the present day and the continuing impact of their innovations.
Studying in the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, you will analyse the most challenging and exciting literature written in English since 1900, and explore the range of historical, intellectual, cultural, political and philosophical factors informing the period’s writing – particularly in its highly innovative modernist and postmodernist phases.
The programme will be taught through a combination of seminars and tutorials. You take one compulsory and one option course in each of two semesters, along with a course in research methods. You will then complete an independently researched dissertation.
Option courses may include:
On successful completion of this programme you will have gained:
Graduates of this programme will acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of literary history and culture post-1900, and a range of transferable skills in research and enquiry, critical thinking and evaluation, and varieties of written and oral communication. This programme will also provide you with research and analytical skills that can be extended into future advanced study in the subject area.
This course is your chance to refine your critical skills through analysis of the literature and language of the modern period. During your time with us, you’ll learn in a lively research environment and benefit from the University’s links with local cultural organisations, including the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
Your studies will focus on key aspects of literary modernity and explore the interaction between literature and theory. The interdisciplinary nature of the course encourages and stimulates debate on cultural, political and historical issues, as well as analysing the relationships between literature and other cultural forms.
MA Literature, Culture and Modernity helps you to acquire specific skills in a number of areas including critical thinking, research methods, cultural and literary theory, analysing literary and cultural texts in the context of debates on modernity.
You will develop your analytical and conceptual thinking skills and gain the expertise to focus on a specific research topic that interests you. During this course you will carry out advanced research and produce original and innovative studies.
The syllabus consists of four taught modules, followed by a dissertation. You will select three option modules from a range which varies from year to year. Modules focus on nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first century literature and culture, exploring literature in relation to popular and working-class culture, analysing the interaction between literature, cinema and theory, and examining issues of identity, gender and power. You will also follow the core module Literary Research Practice which helps prepare for the dissertation and for further study.
Teaching for most modules takes place in weekly, two-hour seminars. Personal supervision is provided throughout the course and in support of the writing of the dissertation. The module Literary Research Practice is taught in three longer block sessions, with additional one-to-one supervisory sessions with a member of staff.
You will be assessed through:
Many graduates of this course have used it as part of their career development in areas as diverse as teaching, librarianship, media, publishing and the arts. Others use it as a means of access to PhD study or further research. You will develop a wide range of skills on this course (writing, communication, presentation and analytical skills) that are transferable to a variety of careers.
This course will suit you if you want to either progress in a career you already have experience in, re-skill for a different career path or continue the studies you took as an undergraduate.
Graduates from this course have progressed onto a number of careers within the arts, museums, libraries, education and others have progressed to PhD study. Graduates have gone on to work for companies including Hello Magazine, the University of Salford, local museums, secondary schools and further education, and to obtain competitive scholarships for PhD study.
The English Subject Directorate has links with the BBC at MediaCityUK. We also have links with local publishers and cultural organisations, including:
Guest speakers from publishers and from other universities across the UK and from abroad regularly visit the Centre for English Literature and Language, as well as making contributions to the module Literary Research Practice. As an MA student on our course you would be encouraged to attend as many of these guest lecturers as possible. Colleagues in English frequently organise international conferences and specialist workshops to which MA students are also warmly invited.
Research in the English Subject Directorate is coordinated by Dr Scott Thurston, Director of the Research Centre for English Literature and Language. There are over 15 research-active academic staff in English and a number of early career researchers engaged in a range of research projects. We welcome PhD applications from MA students. You can find more information and contact details here: http://www.salford.ac.uk/arts-media/research/centre-for-english-literature-and-language.
Guided by a team of internationally recognised experts, you will investigate the key texts and concepts which shape our understanding of literature and culture across a period of radical change from 1880 to the present. You will relate the literary texts you study to developments in other cultural practices, such as film, theatre and the visual arts.
Semester 1 - September to December
Semester 2 - January to March
Summer - April to September
All taught courses are 20 credits and are delivered in weekly 2 hour seminars or similar.
Seminars are taught to the extent that the student members meet regularly with a tutor and proceed through a planned sequence of reading and discussion. The working style however is exploratory rather than didactic; students are expected to engage fully with primary sources, to develop, express and take responsibility for their own opinions and to work towards independent argument and expression in their resulting coursework and dissertation.
The two compulsory Modernities courses are complementary.
Modernities 1: 1880-1945
In the first you will examine some of the foundational modernist movements and manifestos, and investigate some of the ways in which Modernism and modernity were theorised in the period 1880-1945.
Modernities 2: 1945 to the present
In the second core course you will examine the 'fallout' of these movements over the last half century or so. Primary reading consists of seminal texts from the modernist and post-modernist periods, as well as of theoretical formulations of early twentieth-century modernity and its continuities. Secondary reading serves as an introduction to recent critical approaches drawing on fields such as narratology, psychoanalysis, feminism, post-colonialism, and cultural theory.
Option courses will usually be taken from among the 20 credit courses listed under the general pathway. Not all options will be available in any given year, depending on staff availability. A number of option courses have been devised with the needs of the Modernities programme particularly in mind; these are:
With the convenor’s permission, you may also take option courses from elsewhere in the College of Arts and beyond, e.g. Comparative Literature, History of Art, Music, History, and many more.
Modernities has been producing successful graduates for over ten years and provides excellent preparation for PhD studies and an academic career, as well as developing key skills valued by employers in journalism, the heritage and creative industries, and other related educational and vocational careers.
This Masters is concerned with outlining and critically evaluating the concept of the ‘avant-garde’ both theoretically and in terms of its applicability to representative areas of 20th-century art. Dealing with art from the early twentieth century to the present, you will investigate concepts such as historical avant-garde, neo-avant-garde, and post-avant-garde, paying close attention to the theorists who have elaborated these ideas.
Closely focused on the visual and historical specificities of the subject, the core teaching will have you examining the politically oppositional and ‘transgressive’ impulses of the avant-garde.
You will interpret ‘transgression’ in the widest sense and in relation to a range of diverse historical contexts, including: the anti-art concerns of Dada; the political tensions arising from conflicts between nationalist and internationalist currents in European art of the early 20th century and the Nietzschian/Bataillean testing of the boundaries of conventional moral positions, particularly regarding sexual identity and the body.
The optional courses available are closely geared to the research interests of our staff. Their content will draw upon current exhibitions and debates.
You will take five core courses and one optional course. This is followed by a period of self-study towards a dissertation 15,000 words in length (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) and will be on a topic chosen in consultation with the tutors and the programme convenor.
You may choose from the following options in the College of Arts
Or from courses run by History of Art
Students on this programme are invited to take part in an optional study trip of approximately one week, which is funded by the student. Previous destinations include Berlin and Dublin.
Career opportunities include positions in curation, digitisation and research within museums and other cultural and heritage institutions. The programme also provides an excellent platform for you to move onto PhD studies and an academic career.