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Postgraduate Spring modules

Postgraduate students on the spring YorkCourse at the NSC 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.

These modules are suitable for those who are currently registered on a masters programme in Norway and who wish to study at the Norwegian Study Centre.  If you wish to study in the department of Language and Linguistic Science or the Department of English and Related Literature, please see an alternative option here.

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. The Victorians
  2. Imperialism to Globalism

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.

The Victorians

Introduction

The module surveys the major literary and cultural developments in the period and the central preoccupations of Victorian writing, as formulated by contemporaries and by recent critics and theorists. It introduces key thematic areas and problems in the interpretation of nineteenth-century literature across a broad range of genres. It aims to give a good grounding in: (i) A representative range of Victorian literature; (ii) the political, social and aesthetic contexts of Victorian writing in Britain during this period; (iii) a variety of different perspectives on the historical construction of Victorian literature and culture.

Most of the inventions and settings of modern life can be traced back to the nineteenth century when the Industrial Revolution transformed Britain from a rural to an urban country to become the ‘workhouse of the world’. The human cost of this transformation preoccupies the major writers of this century, from the Bronte’s account of women caught between classes to Dicken’s exploration of the squalor of London. The psychological cost is of equal importance. This is the century that gives rise to the horror fiction of Stephenson and the science-fiction of H.G. Wells as the century moves towards the invention of psychoanalysis via fantasy works such those of Lewis Caroll.

In York you’ll walk streets familiar to the Brontes, Dickens and Collins as you consider the debt owed to this fascinating and contradictory century.

Aims

  • Literary: to use a mixture of close reading and plot analysis to explore the different writing styles of the nineteenth century and their purpose.
  • Historical/political: to examine the diverse reactions to the rise of Britain from a small maritime island to the world’s major imperial power.
  • Sociological: to explore the changes in morality over the period, particularly the struggle for social rights women and children.
  • Cultural: to experience how the movements of the time are reflected in the art of the day, set against a view from below; the Britain of popular and traditional songs.

Learning outcomes/objectives

  • To acquire knowledge of the major styles and trends of nineteenth century literature.
  • To appreciate the cultural reaction to some of the most significant events of the nineteenth century and their legacy.
  • To understand some of the major social shifts that occurred since 1800.
  • To identify some of the co-existing cultures of nineteenth century Britain.

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 via one essay of 5000 words.  The final essay will be due in mid-May.

Formative: During the teaching period, you will be required to submit an annotated bibliography, 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

  • Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
  • Dickens: Great Expectations
  • Caroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking glass
  • Hardy: Tess of the D’Urbervilles

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.  The teaching period runs over ten weeks and includes a compulsory two hour seminar (in a group of up to 15 students) and 5 individual one hour tutorials in order to prepare you for the independent and original work required of postgraduate level work.

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.

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 seminars and tutorials.

Imperialism to Globalism

Introduction

This postgraduate level module traces the rise and fall of Britain as the arbitrator of world politics and its displacement by the United States of America. Drawing on texts from children’s literature and popular culture, the course divides into the two parts ‘Children of the Empire’ and ‘Children of the Bomb’.  It aims to give a good grounding in (i) a representative range of multicultural and global literature from the twentieth century to the present day; (ii) the political, social and aesthetic contexts of writing during this period; (iii) a range of different critical perspectives about multicultural and global literature.

The first part of this module looks at works exploring the relationship between Britain and India and the imagination of an idealised England in the years leading up to the First World War. The second part starts after the Second World War and examines the attempts of Britain to adjust to life in a nuclear age dominated by the paradoxes of American power, when inhabitants of the former empire come to Britain to look for a new life. Set against a reggae soundtrack, the module examines the conflict between the views from above and below, the colonisers and the colonised, children and adults.

Aims

  • Literary: to use a mixture of close reading and plot analysis to explore the different styles of writing for children and adolescents before World War I and after World War II.
  • Historical/political: to examine the displacement of Britain as the leading Western world power by America.
  • Sociological: to explore the paradoxical idealisations of childhood and the concepts of meaning and duty in periods dominated first by Imperialism and then by the Cold War.
  • Cultural: to experience how the movements of the time are reflected by the ‘high’ and ‘low’ art of the time.

Learning outcomes/objectives

  • To acquire knowledge of the major styles and trends of child/adolescent literature before World War I and after World War II.
  • To appreciate the cultural reaction to the increasing insecurities of the twentieth century.
  • To understand some of the major social shifts that occurred since 1910.
  • To realise how the literature of childhood reflects the fears and hopes of the twentieth century.

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 via one essay of 5000 words.  The final essay will be due in mid-May.

Formative: During the teaching period, you will be required to submit an annotated bibliography, 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:

  • Nesbit: The Story of the Amulet
  • Grahame: Wind in the Willows
  • Salinger: Catcher in the Rye
  • Greene: The Quiet American

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.  The teaching period runs over ten weeks and includes a compulsory two hour seminar (in a group of up to 15 students) and 5 individual one hour tutorials in order to prepare you for the independent and original work required of postgraduate level work.

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.

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 seminars and tutorials.

Linguistics

Linguistics

Discourse Analysis: texts, contexts and meanings

This description is for the postgraduate level YorkCourse.

Background

What role does the discourse of newspapers play in shaping the views of their readers about immigrants? How do people construct their identities on social media platforms? How do companies establish trust in their communications with their investors and other stakeholders What functions do adverbs such as ‘obviously’ ‘clearly’, ‘apparently’ or adjectives such as ‘brilliant’, ‘amazing’, ‘awesome’ serve in different texts? These are some of the questions that discourse analysts aim to answer.  

Module Description

In this MA (300-level) module we will use frameworks, such as Systemic Functional Linguistics (as applied to discourse) and Conversational Analysis, to understand the relationship between language above the level of sentences and clauses, i.e. discourse, meaning and the social contexts in which these texts exist. We will examine the language used in texts from different genres, written and spoken, such as newspapers, advertisements, political, medical and business discourses, academic writing, conversations, online communication to uncover the functions and meanings contained within them to become aware of the range of features that operate above the level of sentences and clauses.

This module will introduce you to frameworks such as Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday, 1983, 1994, Martin and Rose, 2003) and to using these to analyse the discourse of a variety of genres. We will use these analyses to understand the practical communication problems that can occur in different settings and contexts.

The course 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).

Module Aims:

  • To provide you with an introduction to the key concepts in discourse analysis.
  • Developing your knowledge of the theoretical frameworks of Systemic Functional Grammar and Conversational Analysis and the techniques to use them.
  • Giving you practical experience in analyzing written and spoken discourse from different genres.

Module objectives/learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will have:

  • Developed an understanding of the relationship between discourse and social and cultural contexts
  • Gained an understanding of analytical frameworks like Systemic Functional Grammar, Conversational Analysis
  • Used the above approaches and their tools to identify specific discursive practices that are manifested in spoken and written texts of different genres.
  • Carried out a detailed analysis of these patterns in written or spoken text from any genre

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.

You will also have:

  • Improved your abilities to read and write academic English.
  • Learnt to find and use appropriate library and internet resources.
  • Developed your independent learning and organisational skills, particularly through choosing your own essay topic.
  • Have an ability to summarise and present findings in a useful way.

Key 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 complementary research training seminars.

Bloor. T. and M. Bloor (2013) The functional analysis of English. A Hallidayan approach. London: Routledge.

Eggins, S. and D. Slade (1997) Analysing casual conversation. London: Equinox.

Fontaine, L. (2012) Analysing English grammar: a systemic functional introduction. Cambridge: Ambridge University Press

Fontaine, L., T. Bartlett, G. O'Grady (2013) Systemic Functional Linguistics: Exploring Choice.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Halliday, M.A.K. and C. Mathiessen (2013) Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar. London: Routledge

Martin, J.R. and D. Rose (2003) Working with discourse. Meaning beyond the clause. London: Continuum

Paltridge, B. (2012) Discourse Analysis. An introduction. London: Bloomsbury

Thompson, G. (2013) Introducing functional grammar. London: Routledge.

Wooffitt, R. (2005) Conversational analysis and discourse analysis. London: Sage Publications.

Zhang Waring, H (2017) Discourse analysis: the questions discourse analysts ask and how they answer them. London: Routledge.

Assessment

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

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

Defence Against the Dark Arts

This description is for the postgraduate level YorkCourse.

Introduction

Since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 we have collectively faced a much darker world. In several countries the politico-economic consensus of the last forty years has collapsed and, generally speaking, a drift to authoritarian and xenophobic politics has come in its place. This module helps explain how we got here, and starts to give an idea of the challenges we face in the future.

It does this from the perspective of institutional political economy. In short, institutional political economy is a framework that holds that politics (and the struggle for power inherent in politics) creates law, and law creates the economic system in which individuals act. The economy (or "market") then is not separate to politics and the state, but intimately entwined with both. The shape of the economy too will continually be subject to change, rather than running on universal laws. Thankfully, this position is in contrast to orthodox economics (so there's no need for number-crunching) and instead draws upon literature from political science, sociology, economics, history, and legal studies, among others.

Course Organisation

This course is primarily be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars. In addition, popular films and documentaries are used in relevant weeks.

1. Political Economy and Economic Theory

This section serves as an introduction to both political economy and to distinct economic ideologies. The main point is show that the exploration of economic issues need not been abstract, mathematical and scary, but, instead, can be grounded in everyday experience and needs to involve a consideration of politics. This section sets the theoretical backdrop for our consideration of the rest of the course.

2. Crisis and Austerity

This section explores the origins of, and political response to, the Global Financial Crisis. This section sets the historical backdrop for our consideration of contemporary events.

3. Inequality and Corporate Power

Here we explore two well-established trends of political economy that have intensified since 1979 (and perhaps even more so post-2008). Inequality, in its several forms, will be investigated, as will the influence of corporations on politics, and the problematic relationship between capitalism and democracy more broadly.

4. The Free Market, and the Environment

Finally, we look to the future of the political economy. Two main problems are explored. Firstly, we tackle the nature of the global economy and how it has been constructed. Secondly, we explore the political economic challenge of the globe's ecological and environmental problems.

Assessment

This module will be assessed by an essay of 5000 words in length on a topic of your choice relating to the course. You will write a draft version of this essay and receive detailed comments from your tutor before reworking the essay for final submission. The final essay will be due in late May.

Reading

A week-by-week reading list is provided at the start of the course, and a larger annotated bibliography will be available for research essays. The best book for the foundational weeks of the course, and for getting a sense of the content of the course, is H.J. Chang, Economics: The User's Guide.

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.