Accessibility statement

Postgraduate Autumn modules

Postgraduate students on the Autumn programme study three modules, each worth 10 ECTS credits.  Students take one module in English Literature, one in Language and Linguistics and one in Cultural Studies

This module is suitable for those who are registered on a masters programme in Norway and who wish to study in York in Autumn.

Literature

Literature

This description is for the postgraduate level Yorkcourse.

Dr Jonathan Brockbank of the Department of English and Related Literature is offering our students a choice of two modules of which you will study one:

  1. Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature
  2. American Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century: The Trans-Atlantic Connection

These are both described below. Please indicate on your application form which module you would prefer. Modules offered will depend on the number of requests made and the number of students on the course, so we regret that you are not guaranteed your preference.

Twentieth-Century British and Irish Literature

Introduction

The twentieth century was the century in which urbanisation and mechanisation reached a new peak. It was the century in which the power of science and industry were applied to two world wars and to genocides that eradicated the difference between soldier and civilian, innocent and guilty. The literature of the time is deeply engaged in such struggles. Strikingly polarised in style between the realistic and the experimental, the works of writers such as Joyce, Eliot, Yeats, Woolf and Orwell take their sides in the conflict between elitism and democracy, humanity and inhumanity, commitment and alienation.

We are the heirs of their struggles.

Aims

  • Literary: to use a mixture of close reading and plot analysis to explore the different writing styles of the twentieth century and their purpose.
  • Historical/political: to examine the human cost of the World Wars and the reactions to the downfall of Britain as an imperial power.
  • Sociological: to explore the changes in morality over the period, particularly the struggle for women’s social and political rights.
  • Cultural: to experience how the movements of the time are reflected in the art and music of the day.

Learning outcomes/objectives

  • To acquire knowledge of the major styles and trends of twentieth century literature.
  • To appreciate the cultural reaction to some of the most traumatic events of the twentieth century.
  • To understand some of the major social shifts that occurred since 1910.
  • To realise how multi-faceted and interlocking the cultural and historical movements of the twentieth century are.

Assessment

This module is assessed by a 5000 word essay. The deadline for the final submission of essays is early in January.

Formative: During the teaching period, you will be required to submit a detailed annotated bibliography and essay plan, two part drafts and a full draft of your essay to the module convenor for feedback.  You will receive written comments on each of these within 2 weeks of submission. Further feedback will be provided during five one-to-one tutorials which will be evenly spaced throughout the semester. These are designed to help you with the skills needed to successfully conduct individual and original MA-level work/research.

Summative: You will receive written feedback on your summative assessment within 20 working days of submission.   This is normally sent via email.  You are welcome to discuss this written feedback with the module convenor, your pastoral supervisor, the YorkCourse Co-ordinator and/or the NSC Director.

Core texts

  • Joyce: ‘The Dead’
  • Woolf: Mrs Dalloway
  • Beckett: End Game
  • Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day

You will be required to research the topic of your essay for yourself using a mix of up-to-date textbooks, specialised books and journals.  You will receive training in finding and using academic resources in the weekly separate compulsory research training seminars.

Workload

This module should equate to about 200 hours study.   Weekly seminars are compulsory.   You will also be offered compulsory one-to-one tutorials during the course where you will be able to discuss your essay in detail.

In addition there are a number of compulsory sessions on research training (including using the library, writing essays and referencing).

Full details of the timetable will be given to you at the start of the course.

The remainder of the time should be spent completing individual study/research and ensuring you are fully prepared for lectures and seminars.

In addition there are a number of optional lectures which you may choose to attend along with other students in the Department of English and Related Literature.  We strongly advise you to attend these where possible, even where they discuss texts which are not on your reading list.

American Literature of The Long Nineteenth Century: The Trans-Atlantic Connection

Introduction

This module traces the emergence of America as a great international power in a long nineteenth century that runs from 1830 to 1930. Despite an official political culture of optimism and triumph, American writers show a deep vein of doubt and questioning in texts that explore the paradoxes of a nation that proclaimed all men equal but was founded on slavery and expanded at the expense of its native peoples. The chosen works show the traumas endured by America from Civil War to Great War as it moved from being a refuge from the power struggles of Europe to the dominator of world conflicts, set to a soundtrack of American traditional and popular songs.

Aims

  • Literary: to use a mixture of close reading and plot analysis to explore the different writing styles of the ‘Long Nineteenth Century’ (C1783-1925) and their purpose.
  • Historical/political: to examine the transformation of America from an anti-colonial power and democratic refuge from feudal Europe, to one of the world’s international powers, participating in World War I.
  • Sociological: to explore the paradoxes of the Constitution and a literature that is preoccupied with doubt, self-questioning and the undermining of official myths.
  • Cultural: to experience how American art created an iconography for ‘the American Dream’ and set this against a view from below; the America of popular and traditional songs.

Learning outcomes/objectives

  • To acquire knowledge of the major styles and trends of American literature of the long nineteenth century.
  • To appreciate the cultural reaction to some of the most inspiring and disillusioning events of the nineteenth century that accompanied the rise of the USA.
  • To understand some of the major social shifts that occurred since 1783.
  • To identify the paradoxes and contradictions of the evolving ‘American dream’.

Assessment

This module is assessed by a 5000 word essay. The deadline for the final submission of essays is early in January.

Formative: During the teaching period, you will be required to submit a detailed annotated bibliography and essay plan, two part drafts and a full draft of your essay to the module convenor for feedback.  You will receive written comments on each of these within 2 weeks of submission. Further feedback will be provided during five one-to-one tutorials which will be evenly spaced throughout the semester. These are designed to help you with the skills needed to successfully conduct individual and original MA-level work/research.

Summative: You will receive written feedback on your summative assessment within 20 working days of submission.   This is normally sent via email.  You are welcome to discuss this written feedback with the module convenor, your pastoral supervisor, the YorkCourse Co-ordinator and/or the NSC Director.

Core texts

  • The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
  • Crane: The Red Badge of Courage
  • Twain: Huckleberry Finn
  • Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

You will be required to research the topic of your essay for yourself using a mix of up-to-date textbooks, specialised books and journals.  You will receive training in finding and using academic resources in the weekly separate compulsory research training seminars.

Workload

This module should equate to about 200 hours of study. You are expected to attend all assigned lectures and seminars, and attendance will be monitored. You will also be offered one-to-one consultation slots during the course where you will be able to discuss your essay in detail.

Full details of the timetable will be given to you at the start of the course.

The remainder of the time should be spent completing individual study/research and ensuring you are fully prepared for lectures and seminars.

In addition there are a number of optional lectures which you may choose to attend along with other students in the Department of English and Related Literature.  We strongly advise you to attend these where possible, even where they discuss texts which are not on your reading list.

 

Linguistics

Linguistics

Harry Potter and the Order of the Linguist: Aspects of Sociolinguistics in Britain Today

This description is for the postgraduate level Yorkcourse.

Background

This is a postgraduate module in modern sociolinguistics, which looks at linguistic variability and the social use of language, as well as the relationship between these and language change.  The module will enable you to perform original research in the field of sociolinguistics by giving you a practical training in techniques and methodologies used in sociolinguistic analysis.  We will use the books, films and audiobooks of the Harry Potter series as our primary data-set during contact hours.

Module description

The module uses the Harry Potter series to provide a description and interpretation of linguistic variation in the British Isles today as related to social factors such as age, gender, “Race” and social class

During the course, you will examine theoretical and analytical frameworks that explore issues of language variation, language contact, language and identity; analyse the role of language in social relationships and practices; and look at how linguistic theory can be applied to the analysis of literature and culture.

The programme equips you with high-level research skills that you can apply in your essay writing, which allows you to address an issue of particular interest with the knowledge you have gathered throughout the course.

Teaching will mostly be alongside NSC undergraduates (200-Level), but the demands placed on 300-level students will be higher, requiring more detailed and independent work for assessment, extra reading throughout the course and participation in five further one-to-one tutorials to help with the independent research required at this MA-level. This MA module has different requirements for assessment (one long essay) compared to the BA level module (a shorter essay and a dossier of exercises).

Course aims

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Show you have acquired an understanding of the complex relationship between language and the social world.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of attitudes towards different varieties of English as well as issues of intelligibility and identity and the implications of these for English language teaching.
  3. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of linguistic variability and change in the British Isles today.
  4. Describe, interpret and critically evaluate recent sociolinguistic studies which focus on the situation in Britain.
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with and the use of a range of research methods and tools (for example, library and archival catalogues and online databases).
  6. Collect, describe and analyse linguistic data using appropriate sociolinguistic methodology suitable for postgraduate study and beyond.
  7. Develop the academic, personal and professional skills required to equip you to undertake your MA dissertation in Norway and to afterwards carry on to PhD research or make immediate impact upon employment in a relevant field such as teaching.

Learning outcomes/objectives

  1. Help you to have a detailed and thorough understanding of the ways in which language use relates to wider social, political and cultural factors in the British Isles and beyond.
  2. Provide in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of sociolinguistic terms, concepts, and approaches/methodologies.
  3. Enable you to carry out independent, post-graduate level sociolinguistic research in an informed and systematic manner. This will include knowledge of how to
    1. frame a set of research questions in the context of relevant literature
    2. present summaries of data effectively
    3. use quantitative and/or qualitative research methods to effectively answer research questions.
    4. manage workload on an independent research project

Additionally, as an MA student you will be required to conduct independent research as part of your assessment. Therefore, you will:

  • Understand the challenges posed in carrying out a substantial piece of independent research.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with and the use of a range of research methods and tools (for example, library and archival catalogues and online databases).
  • Demonstrate the ability to present extended and complex arguments in writing.
  • Develop the academic, personal and professional skills required to equip you to undertake your MA dissertation in Norway and to afterwards carry on to PhD research or make immediate impact upon employment in a relevant field such as teaching.

Assessment

A-5000 word essay on a chosen topic related to the course. You will be required to design and implement a small scale research project where you collect and analyse original data as part of this essay.  The final essay will be due in mid January.

Course materials

There is not a compulsory textbook for this module, although you should read, re-read or listen to the first Harry Potter novel in English before the start of the module. It doesn’t matter if it is the UK version, 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' or the American version, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ or who voices the audio recording (although it is hard to beat Stephen Fry).

Weekly readings from textbooks and journals will be made available to you via the module site when the module starts in August.  If you would like to do some preliminary reading for linguistics in the meantime, you might like to consider any introductory sociolinguistics textbook (any edition).  For example, the following are widely available as print or electronic resources:

  • Chambers, J.K. (2003). Sociolinguistic Theory [2nd Edition]. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Mesthrie, R., Swann, J., Deumert, A., & Leap, W. (2009) Introducing sociolinguistics [2nd edition]. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Meyerhoff, M. (2007). Introducing sociolinguistics. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics [5th Edition]. Oxford: Blackwell.

More specialised works include:

  • Milroy, L. & Gordon, M. (2003). Sociolinguistics. Method and Interpretation. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Tagliamonte, S. (2011). Variationist sociolinguistics: Change, observation, interpretation. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell

Workload

This module should equate to about 200 hours of study. You are expected to attend all assigned lectures and seminars, and attendance will be monitored. You will also be offered one-to-one consultation slots during the course where you will be able to discuss your essay in detail.

Full details of the timetable will be given to you at the start of the course.

The remainder of the time should be spent completing individual study/research and ensuring you are fully prepared for lectures and seminars.

 

Culture

Culture

Race Relations in Britain

This description is for the postgraduate level Yorkcourse.

Introduction

Subjects to be covered will include the following:

  • Immigration - history and legislation
  • Anti-discrimination legislation
  • Race relations and the criminal justice system
  • Education and employment
  • Racism in sport
  • Race relations and the media

A more detailed, week by week, schedule of lectures and seminars will be distributed at the start of the course.

Course organisation

This course will be taught through a mixture of lecture and seminar sessions. There will be no formal seminar papers, but each student will be expected to contribute some independent research to the discussion at selected seminars. (I will explain what I mean by 'independent research', etc, in the first seminar).

Course aims

The purpose of this module is to provide a critical introduction to the political doctrine of ‘multiculturalism’ as a way of organising and legislating for ‘appropriate’ race relations in twenty-first century Britain. Our approach to the topic will be interdisciplinary, drawing on theories and methodologies from history, sociology, anthropology and media studies, but it will be chiefly directed by the concepts of postcolonialism.

Learning outcomes/objectives

Upon successful completion of this module, you will:

  • Be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the key themes and issues in the area of race relations in Britain since the second world war;
  • Be able to analyse some aspects of the key theories and ideological discourses of race relations in Britain today;
  • Be able to employ relevant critical concepts from sociological, anthropological, political and/or literary and media discourses in considering contemporary events in the field of British race relations;
  • Have an enhanced appreciation of British culture, having studied that culture from within;
  • Be able to perform research or basic fieldwork relatively independently and to develop subsequently a sustained argument in essay form.

Additionally, as an MA student you will be required to conduct independent research as part of your assessment. Therefore you will:

  • Understand the challenges posed in carrying out a substantial piece of independent research.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with and the use of a range of research methods and tools (for example, library and archival catalogues and online databases).
  • Demonstrate the ability to present extended and complex arguments in writing.
  • Develop the academic, personal and professional skills required to equip you to undertake your MA dissertation in Norway and to afterwards carry on to PhD research or make immediate impact upon employment in a relevant field such as teaching.

Assessment

This module will be assessed by an essay of 5000 words in length on a topic of your choice relating to the course.  The final essay will be due in early January.

Formative: During the teaching period, you will be required to submit a detailed research proposal and essay plan, two part drafts and a full draft of your essay to the module convenor for feedback.  You will receive written comments on each of these within 2 weeks of submission. Further feedback will be provided during five one-to-one tutorials which will be evenly spaced throughout the semester. These are designed to help you with the skills needed to successfully conduct individual and original MA-level work/research.

Summative: You will receive written feedback on your summative assessment within 20 working days of submission.   This is normally sent via email.  You are welcome to discuss this written feedback with the module convenor, your pastoral supervisor, the YorkCourse Co-ordinator and/or the NSC Director.

Core texts

You will be required to research the topic of your essay for yourself using a mix of up-to-date textbooks, specialised books and journals.  You will receive training in finding and using academic resources in the weekly separate compulsory research training seminars.

Primary Course Text - Required Reading

  • Ratcliffe, Peter. 'Race', Ethnicity and Difference: Imagining the Inclusive Society. Open University Press, 2004.

Additional Reading

  • Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin. Mixed Feelings: the complex lives of mixed-race Britons. London : Women's press, 2001.
  • Goulbourne, Harry. Race relations in Britain since 1945. Social History in Perspective series. Gen. Ed. Jeremy Black. London : MacMillan. 1998.
  • Modood, Tariq & Richard Berthoud et al eds. Ethnic minorities in Britain : diversity and disadvantage. London : Policy Studies Institute, 1997.
  • Phillips, Mike & Trevor Phillips. Windrush: the irresistible rise of multi-racial Britain . London : Harpercollins, 1999.
  • Visram, Rozina. Asians in Britain : 400 years of history. London : Pluto Press, 2002.

In addition to the above, there is a growing collection of texts available in the NSC library.

The University Library at York has numerous holdings on multiculturalism, race relations, etc. Look under call numbers D1.450942 and H2.642. As this is an area of contemporary cultural studies that is constantly developing, keep an eye out for new publications and new statistics. You'll find that older works (published before 1990, say) may use different terminology and classifications: be aware that as more and different people study and discuss race, cultural and ethnic relations, definitions and concepts will change.

Workload

This module should equate to about 200 hours of study. You are expected to attend all assigned lectures and seminars, and attendance will be monitored. You will also be offered one-to-one consultation slots during the course where you will be able to discuss your essay in detail.

Full details of the timetable will be given to you at the start of the course.

The remainder of the time should be spent completing individual study/research and ensuring you are fully prepared for lectures and seminars.