This course offers an opportunity for the advanced study of popular literature. In recent years a body of theoretical and cultural historical material has developed that attempts to define what 'the popular' means now, and what it has meant historically. At the same time texts that do not seem to belong to traditional canons increasingly attract critical attention, and have come to be taught at university level alongside more canonical texts. In this light the course will cover such popular genres as adventure fiction, children's literature, horror, detective fiction, romance, pornography and science fiction, as well as offering an advanced introduction to such topics as the bestseller, genre theory, print culture and readership.
The course comprises two elements:
A core course meeting twice a week for 2 hours over 2 terms Option courses meeting once a week for 2 hours - students take one per term
This creates a total of 6 contact hours per week. Students are also expected to spend a substantial amount of time in library research. Assessment is a combination of four 5,000 word essays and a 15,000 word dissertation to be supervised by a member of staff.