English and drama

The Uncanny

Module code: Q3051
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Workshop, Lecture, Dis-sup, Seminar
Assessment modes: Dissertation

The uncanny is difficult to define: it is mysterious, eerie, at once strange and familiar. It offers especially productive possibilities for exploring issues of identity and liminality, boundaries and interdisciplinarity. This module will engage with the uncanny across a wide range of texts and contexts, extending from literature (novels, short stories, drama and poetry) to film. Discussion will focus on a number of linked topics, including repetition, doubles, strange coincidences, animism, live burial, telepathy, death and laughter. 

The module aims to develop your engagement with the notion of the uncanny across a broad range of literary and other texts; to develop your skills of reading and critical analysis, especially insofar as the uncanny by its nature engenders intellectual uncertainty and calls for an unusual critical patience; to enhance your capacity for critical reflection on their experience of the familiar and the strange, the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Module learning outcomes

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