English and drama

Late Modernist Poetics

Module code: Q3166
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module explores experimental poetry, fiction and critical work from post-WWII up to the present day, with a distinct focus on authors from the UK.

Most of the writers we consider engage directly in what can be called modernist practice. The legacy of modernism will not be our only concern – we will also consider:

  • the role of difficulty in literature more generally
  • failures of language and interpretation
  • approaches to knowledge, the self, the body, philosophy, politics and aesthetics.

Close readings of style and form will guide our forays into these works, many of which remain little known.

Module learning outcomes

  • Hone their understanding of what constitutes experimental practice in contemporary poetry and fiction.
  • Broaden their grasp of the relationship between the literature of so-called 'high modernism' and post-WWII literature.
  • Draw upon historical, philosophical, theoretical, and critical approaches to recurrent concerns in contemporary writing such as knowledge, the self, the body, abjection, politics, and aesthetics.
  • Devise and deliver a presentation on a chosen author that includes taking the lead on generating group discussion.
  • Research and write an essay that involves close textual analysis synthesised with the larger issues presented in the writing studied during this course.