- Department: English and Related Literature
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Olivia Carpenter
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: I
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
Texts and Histories is the cornerstone of your combined course programme. This core English/History module asks you to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of studying literature and history. The module is designed to provide you with a range of analytical skills that will be applicable across periods, and that will highlight the possibilities offered by studying these two disciplines together. A central part of this interdisciplinary training will come through text analysis exercises, which require you to analyse a particular short text or extract from both literary and historical perspectives. You will thus develop your interdisciplinary skills and methodologies, questioning the boundaries between the empirical and the fictive, and between historical documents and literary works. We will focus on a range of texts reflecting a variety of historical contexts, genres of writing, purposes, and audiences.
The module is also a key part of your preparation for the English/History Bridge Dissertation at Level 3. Specific seminars and workshops will provide targeted training sessions on the bridge dissertation, which is a sustained piece of work on a topic of your choosing - subject to approval - that bridges English and History. Texts & Histories provides the opportunity to develop the skills needed to embark on this longer research project by putting together an individual dissertation proposal and an annotated bibliography as part of a Personal Research Plan for your bridge dissertation.
As a whole, Texts & Histories gives you the chance to explore the historicity of literature and the literariness of historical texts, while developing advanced skills for your own independent, extended research in the final stages of your degree.
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This module aims to introduce you to key debates about the different, but potentially complementary, natures of historical and literary scholarship. The module will encourage you to engage creatively with historical sources and literary texts, and to reflect critically on the relationship between the English and History components of your joint degree. This module will structure your thinking about the Bridge Dissertation, preparing you for the design of an extended English and History project at Level 3.
On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:
Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with a range of issues in historical and literary research.
Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with the ways in which texts are constructed, the agenda that shaped their construction, and the ways in which they have been read historically and may be read by scholars now.
Examine key debates and critical approaches in English and History across a diverse set of texts reflecting a variety of historical contexts, genres of writing, purposes, and audiences.
Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with approaches to researching the English/History Bridge Dissertation and apply those techniques in the development of a Personal Research Plan.
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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
The module is co-taught by a staff member from each of your two Departments. Therefore the particular choice of texts, both literary and historical, is liable to vary from year to year according to the combination of tutors.