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Channel Crossings: French & English Poetry in Conversation, 1850-1930 - ENG00091M

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. James Williams
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module aims

  • To introduce candidates to the main currents of French and English poetry during the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the 1920s;
  • To study the interrelatedness of French and English poetry during this period, through considerations of influence, form, translation, and literary friendships;
  • To read samples of French poetry (in translation, but with the original supplied) closely side by side with English poetry, and so to explore affinities at a more detailed level than the sweep of comparative literary history.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will

  • be familiar with the main currents of English and French poetry during the period 1850-1930 and how each tradition has influenced the other;
  • be able to reflect on the critical and methodological challenges which this relationship raises -- in particular issues of translation, comparative poetic form, and cross-cultural contact -- and have some familiarity with advanced scholarship in these areas;
  • be able to offer close and detailed comparative readings of English poems in the light of French influences and/or vice versa.


Task Length % of module mark
4500 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4500 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see section 12 of the department's Guide to Assessment (PDF , 1,244kb).

Indicative reading

Important volumes for this module include:

  • RADFORD, Andrew, and Victoria Reid, eds, Franco-British Cultural Exchanges, 1880-1940: Channel Packets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
  • REES, William, The Penguin Book of French Poetry 1820-1950 (Penguin, 1992)
  • REYNOLDS, Matthew, The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer and Petrarch to Homer and Logue (Oxford UP, 2011)
  • ROBINSON, Peter, Poetry and Translation: The Art of the Impossible (Liverpool UP, 2009)
  • SCOTT, Clive, French Verse-Art: A Study (Cambridge UP, 1980)
  • Vers Libre: The Emergence of Free Verse in France 1886-1914 (Oxford UP, 1990)
  • Channel Crossings: French and English Poetry in Dialogue 1550-2000 (Legenda, 2001)
  • SYMONS, Arthur, The Symbolist Movement in Lierature, ed. Matthew Creasy (Carcanet, 2014)
  • WEISSBORT, Daniel, and Astradur Eysteinsson, TranslationTheory and Practice: A Historical Reader (Oxford UP, 2009)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.