- Department: Education
- Module co-ordinator: Ms. Amanda Naylor
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: M
- Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
- See module specification for other years: 2019-20
The students we imagine might be particularly drawn to this module are those on social justice related masters programmes who have a particular interest in engaging with issues related to citizenship and social justice through the medium of literature. These students may well have previous educational experience in the humanities in general and of the study of literature in particular. Students who have studied literature at school or at undergraduate level will already be familiar with some of the core issues explored in these masters programmes, whether they be questions of class and educational opportunity (the plays of Willy Russell and Kwame Kwei-Armah, for example) or economic migration (the novels of Amy Tan or John Steinbeck, for example), race or gender politics (the poetry of Maya Angelou or Carol Ann Duffy, for example). Such students may well feel attracted to a module which not only offers them a sense of continuity with their previous studies but also enables them to explore issues of social justice and citizenship through a medium with which they are already familiar and which has the potential to engage them, not only intellectually, but emotionally and imaginatively as well.
|A||Spring Term 2018-19|
Students will be encouraged to apply the tools and theoretical approaches associated with literary analysis where appropriate; but the overriding aim of the module is to help them appreciate how ‘overarching conceptions to do with social justice in education’ – to cite just one quotation from the Masters in Social Justice and Education programme specification – are explored in literature. To take one possible text as an example: an exploration of the failure of the boys in William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies to establish a democratic system of government, might provide the starting point for an interrogation of Jürgen Habermas’ commitment to ‘the potential equality, autonomy and rationality of individuals’.
Students will be able to:
Reflect in a critically informed manner on the ways in which core issues related to citizenship and social justice are explored through literature
Make clear and productive connections between literature and core theoretical writings about citizenship and social justice
Enhance their appreciation of the rich global heritage of writing about citizenship and social justice
Develop and articulate their own informed theoretical position regarding issues of citizenship and social justice
Academic and graduate skills
Students will develop their ability to:
Engage critically with literary texts in the context of core writings on citizenship and social justice
Identify, analyse, create and communicate arguments in written and oral form
Engage in a range of imaginative and creative approaches to literary texts
Participate as democratic members of a learning community
Two key questions arise: Whose voice is represented here? and Whose voice has been left out? (In terms of social justice related masters programmes, this is itself, of course, a major issue which needs to be explored throughout the module – see also Session 1 below). Bearing that in mind, what follows is an indicative text selection for the module. We have tried to include a range of voices and to provide equal representation to prose, poetry and drama:
Indicative/provisional module outline – session by session:
1. Core issues in literature, citizenship and social justice
Responsible to whom?
2. Sophocles’ Antigone
3. Golding’s The Lord of the Flies
Voices at the Margins
4. David Edgar’s play Testing the Echo
5. The poetry of Kishwar Naheed
Political commitment in literature for young readers
6. Politically committed picturebooks. Corpus of texts given in class.
7. The rise of radical Young Adult literature. The Hate You Give, Angie Thomas.
Activism through literature
8. Theatre for advocacy with Downs Syndrome actors. Growing Up Downs, BBC.
9. Autobiography for political protest. Aquariums of Pyongyang, Kang Chol-Hwan.
Where we stand
10. We will be telling our own stories and thinking about where we stand in relation to the texts that we have read and to core writings about citizenship and social justice.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
5,000 word critical essay which explores core issues related to citizenship and social justice within the context of a literary text (novel, play, collection of poems or short stories)
A 1,000 word piece of creative writing which explores a particular issue related to citizenship and social justice. This should be accompanied by a 4,000 word reflective piece which analyses the creative response and links it specifically to core writings about citizenship and social justice.
ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT INFORMATION
Students will be invited to one to one meetings with a module tutor to discuss plans and progress towards completing their summative assignment.
Reassessment will be by component, in line with Departmental policy.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
You will receive feedback in a range of ways throughout this module. This will include oral feedback in class, responses to posts on the VLE discussion board and written comments on work. You will have the chance to obtain feedback on your writing during the module, and you will have a short one-to-one meeting with a module tutor to discuss assessments.
You will be provided physical written feedback on assignment report sheets as well as them being readily available on the VLE. Feedback in the department will take 4 to 6 weeks.
The aim here is to show that there is no shortage of academic writing about literature, citizenship and social justice – this is just a selection.
Bishop, Rudine Sims. "Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors." Perspectives 6.3 (1990): ix-xi.
Brook, T. (2007) Civic myths : a law-and-literature approach to citizenship. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Davies, I., L.-C. Ho, D. Kiwan, C. L.Peck, A. Peterson, E. Sant, Y. Waghid (eds) (2018) The Palgrave Handbook of Global Citizenship and Education. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hepburn, A. (2016) Around 1945 : literature, citizenship, rights. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Kahn, C., Nathans, H. S., Godfrey, M. (2011) Shakespearean educations: power, citizenship, and performance. Newark: University of Delaware Press.
Neelands, J. & O’Connor, P. J. (2010) Creating democratic citizenship through drama education: the writings of Jonothan Neelands. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books.
Nel, Philip. Was the Cat in the Hat Black? : The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books. Oxford UP : New York, NY, 2017.
Rosen, D. (2013) The watchman in pieces : surveillance, literature, and liberal personhood. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Wiles, D. (2014) Theatre and Citizenship: The History of a Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Zumbrunnen, J. (2012) Arisophanic comedy and the challenge of democratic citizenship. Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
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