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Course content

This innovative course focuses on dissident writing and transgressive texts, from the early modern period to the present. Engaging with recent developments in theoretical and critical practice, the course will develop your knowledge and understanding of English literature and will sharpen your skills of literary research, writing and analysis.

Key features

-This course enables you to become part of a vibrant postgraduate community and attend lectures and events organised by the London Graduate School and the Kingston Writing School.
-Capitalising on our location, several modules are complemented by field trips (for example, to the British Library, museums and theatres) to enhance and support your learning experience.
-The English department is home to two archives relating to the work of Iris Murdoch, as well as the Sheridan Morley archive of theatrical life writing and ephemera. It also contributes to the Cultural Histories and Suburban Studies at Kingston, the Life Narrative Research Group, the Iris Murdoch Centre and the Victorian Popular Fiction Association.

What will you study?

The core module, Transgression and Dissidence, introduces the course's central themes by focusing on texts that explore the limits of human experience and contravene cultural boundaries. You will explore how literature, through such transgression, has provided opportunities for dissent and resistance, and will consider the extent to which writing has acted as a catalyst for social and political change. You will then study various conceptual approaches to literature through your choice of option modules, which provide the opportunity to analyse and discuss a range of contentious issues across a number of historical periods and with respect to different genres.

The option modules involve the study of traumatic experience, human rights work and life narrative (Trauma and Justice); the complex relationships between desire, embodiment and writing (Sex and Text); gender, culture and international exchange in early modern Europe (Markets and Materiality); the construction of place and identity in 19th-century travel writing and adventure fiction (Mappings and Crossings); and the 'post-human' and interspecies interaction in recent global literature (Humans and Animals).

The MA programme has been devised to allow you to study diverse topics and periods or, if you prefer, to focus on areas in which the Department of English Literature has particular research strengths: Renaissance literature and culture; Victorian literature, 20th-century and contemporary writing; literature, sex and gender; and writing, space and the environment.

Your 15,000-word dissertation will allow you to research a subject of your choice, produced under the supervision of a specialist academic member of staff.

Assessment

Essays and other written coursework, presentations, and dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules
-English Literature Dissertation
-Transgression and Dissidence

Optional modules
-Diffractive Creativities, Transversal Practices
-Humans and Animals
-Mappings and crossings
-Markets and Materiality
-Sex and Text
-Special Study: American Dreaming: Suburbia, Literature and Culture
-Special Study: Bruce Springsteen and Contemporary American Culture
-Special Study: Monsters: Theory, Fiction, Culture
-Special Study: Music and Theory
-Special Study: Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama
-Special Study: Writing Women in the 20th and 21st Century
-Trauma and Justice

Visit the English Literature - MA page on the Kingston University website for more details!

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