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Politics & the Novel - POL00027H

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kieran Durkin
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

Exploring the relationship between political context, literary writing, and political thought.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Politics and the Novel aims to bridge the study of literature and politics through a close reading of selected texts that deal with political experiences, ideas and challenges. While the particular region, period or problem in focus varies from year to year, we
examine the fictional treatment of these political-historical contexts, its political sentiments and their translation into socio-political ideas. By the end of the module students should be able to show detailed knowledge of the major political and philosophical themes studied, alongside an understanding of how these themes are worked upon to a critical effect in novels. They should have developed their research, writing and presentational skills and be able to formulate viable research questions that bring together the two academic disciplines of English and Politics.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be expected to demonstrate:
A thorough knowledge of the body of texts under consideration;
A strong awareness of the cultural and political history of the period/contexts
Awareness of critical debates shaping the reception of the writings under study;
Insight into the complexity of the ways in which political contexts influence literary writing, and how, in turn, literary writing can play a role in political thought.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay - 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay - 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutors feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 20 working days after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutors regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Trepanier L (2020) ‘What can Political Science learn from literature?’, Political Science Reviewer,
44(1): 1-19.
Scott K (2016) The Limits of Politics: Making the Case for Literature in Political Analysis (Maryland:

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.