This module is an opportunity to study in depth the fiction of one of the most exciting, compelling, innovative, and influential writers of the Anglo-American nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries. James’s work spans a rich transitional period in literary culture, connecting the (pre-)Victorian novel with the radical experimentalism of the Modernists. His earliest work owes a great deal to the steely delicacy and narrative ironies of Jane Austen; his latest writing engages with the questions of subjectivism and the paradoxes of authority which would later preoccupy Stein, Woolf and Joyce. James’s work addresses some of the biggest themes – passion, violence, loss and desire – but it’s less often noticed that he can be enormously funny and beguilingly shameless. This module aims, above all, to take seriously the pleasures of James’s texts; to read James in the light of his own apologia – ‘it is art that makes life, makes interest’.
Module will run
Spring Term 2021-22
The aim of this module is to study in depth the work of Henry James.
Module learning outcomes
An in-depth engagement with the literary work of Henry James
An ability to develop your own approaches to, and interpretations of, James’s work
Knowledge and understanding of some significant debates in contemporary Jamesian scholarship
% of module mark
Essay/coursework Essay 3000 words
Special assessment rules
Additional assessment information
You will be given the opportunity to hand in a 1000 word formative essay in the term in which the module is taught (usually in the week 7 seminar). Material from this essay may be re-visited in your summative essay and it is therefore an early chance to work through material that might be used in assessed work. This essay will be submitted in hard copy and your tutor will annotate it and return it two weeks later (usually in your week 9 seminar). Summary feedback will be uploaded to your eVision account.
You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours
For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment