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Critical Practice - ENG00114I

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jane Raisch
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

In this module, theoretical and critical texts are the primary focus of inquiry. Each lecture will interrogate an important theoretical or critical idea and will consider how it might be used to approach and inflect literary study. You will explore the implications of different theoretical perspectives and critical interventions, and will be encouraged in workshops to apply your understanding of these concepts to literary and visual texts, and to the world around you.

Topics addressed will vary from year to year, but will build on the historical, formal, and ethico-political debates that you were introduced to in first-year study. Lectures and workshops may cover subjects such as: Adaptation and Intermediality; Animal Studies; Cultural Materialism; Deconstruction; Historicism; Interdisciplinarity; Medical Humanities; Nation Theory; Orientalism; Thing Theory; Translation Theory. These topics will be introduced via a focus on core critical and theoretical texts – short, significant contributions to the history of ideas or to the practice of literary study.

You will be expected to apply the concepts covered here to the texts that you are studying in other modules or that you encounter independently. The ‘Theory and Criticism’ module thus provides you with critical and theoretical tools that will deepen and enhance your study of literature across your degree and beyond. To this end, the module offers training in how to apply theoretical and critical approaches in different contexts. A series of lectures on applied writing skills runs alongside the critical and theoretical provision, assisting you to develop a portfolio of writing that puts theory into practice in a variety of formats and contexts.

Over the course of the year, you will produce five short pieces of writing for your portfolio, submitting each one as formative work and receiving feedback from your tutor. You will then have the chance to develop and rework these writing tasks, selecting four out of the five for summative assessment in the Summer Term.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Summer Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module aims to encourage you to think reflectively about the discipline of English and to see yourselves as active participants in its scholarly dialogues. It will develop your understanding of literary theory and criticism and help you to apply that understanding in different contexts, developing your writing skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with a range of theoretical and critical approaches.

  2. Apply critical and theoretical concepts and models to the analysis of literary and visual texts.

  3. Develop arguments and ideas which make proficient use of critical and theoretical concepts.

  4. Produce critical and effective writing in a range of modes and for a variety of audiences.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

You will be given the opportunity to hand in tasks for your portfolio as formative exercise in weeks 5 and 9 of the autumn and spring terms and week 4 summer term. You will receive feedback on these which can then be incorporated into your work for your assessed Portfolio.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • 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 provided in a pedagogical spirit, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback 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

Indicative reading

The Key text for this module is the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

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.