English and drama

Special Author: Salman Rushdie

Module code: Q3046
Level 6
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

Rushdie is a complex and challenging writer whose work not only intersects with, but actively influences and informs, a range of cultural and literary debates. Indeed, because his novels, stories and essays have consistently challenged the boundaries of culture, they have tended to generate polarised and often partisan critical responses. On this module, you will venture into the highly contested field of Rushdie criticism by evaluating his key literary texts using a variety of reading strategies and theoretical methodologies. For example, you will explore postmodernist debates on the construction of history and identity as well as postcolonial concerns with race, hybridity and political power. You will address core issues such as intertextuality, cinematic montage and narrative authority. And you will engage with wider cultural concerns relating to representation, performativity and documentation. These diverse critical perspectives will provide you with a sound knowledge of the social, cultural and political influences informing Rushdie’s work, and give you the analytical tools to develop your own lines of enquiry.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the formal and generic developments of a named author's work.
  • Understand how the work has been shaped by the social, historical and intellectual contexts in which it was produced.
  • Through critical analysis of a range of the author's writing over his/her career, demonstrate an understanding of how his/her literary reputation was established and has been maintained.
  • Organise complex material into an essay that illustrates independent research.