English and drama

Islam, Literature and the 'West'

Module code: Q3024
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Film
Assessment modes: Dissertation

In both domestic and international contemporary politics, few issues are more urgent than the widely perceived 'clash' between the ideologies of Western European capitalism and Islamic radicalism. This module will offer you the opportunity to examine in detail the shifting terms in which the encounter between a Christian 'West' and an Islamic 'East' has been conducted in predominantly English literatures, from the rhetoric of the early crusades to the present day.

Covering a broad range of texts and genres, and including some journalism and film, emphasis will be placed upon:

  • concepts of Holy War
  • Islam on the early modern English stage
  • the emerging study of the 'Orient' in the 17th century and the first English Qur'an
  • Enlightenment fantasies of the 'East' and Muhammad
  • the Romantics and the 'East'
  • the Rushdie 'Affair'
  • and more recent developments of this encounter both before and after 11 September 2001.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the concepts raised by their special subject.
  • Understand the impact of cultural and social processes on the production of literature and other media.
  • Be able to define a topic for research which is appropriate to the course.
  • Be able to organise complex material in an extended piece of written work.