Special Author: William Blake (Q3197)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

As one of the most idiosyncratic writers and artists in British history William Blake has had an outstanding influence on global creative cultures today. In this module you'll read many of Blake's illuminated books learning about their experimental material form and how they emerged from the literary and visual cultures of late 18th century London. You'll have the chance to examine Blake's original illuminations in the British Museum.

We consider the creative contributions made by Catherine Blake (married to William) and the challenges to researchers of interpreting this collaboration. In the second half of the module we discuss the reception of Blake, exploring his influence on later writers and artists from popular culture to experimental literature. This is likely to include poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg and Iain Sinclair, fiction by Philip Pullman, Alastair Gray and Angela Carter, a film directed by Jim Jarmusch and a graphic novel by Alan Moore. There will be a writing workshop in which you are invited to explore creative reception in practice (a creative-critical option will allow those who wish to develop this in the mid-term assessment).


25%: Lecture
25%: Practical (Workshop)
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 48 hours of contact time and 252 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2017/18. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: