Literature and Philosophy MA

Key information

Duration:
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date:
September 2017

Building on the longstanding tradition of interdisciplinary research and teaching at Sussex, the Literature and Philosophy MA exemplifies the fruitful co-operation between Philosophy and English.

You’ll study in a stimulating environment for creative thinking, open discussion and critical engagement. You'll draw on ideas from literature, philosophy (analytic and continental), psychology and intellectual history.

You have the opportunity to examine central topics at the intersection of philosophy and literature, such as: 

  • the autonomy of the work of art  
  • literature as philosophy
  • ethics and literature
  • the experience of reading
  • style and narrative
  • modernism and modernity.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 5th in the UK for Philosophy (The Guardian University Guide 2018), and our research quality in English and Drama was ranked in the top 10 in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014 REF).
  • English at Sussex is ranked in the top 15 in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2018 and The Complete University Guide 2018) and in the top 100 in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
  • You’ll benefit from activities organised by the Literature and Philosophy Research Network.

Entry requirements

Degree requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please select your country from the list.

Argentina

Degree requirements

Licenciado/Titulo with a final mark of 7.5-8.5 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Australia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Azerbaijan

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4 or 81%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bahrain

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.0/4.0 (Grade B).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bangladesh

Degree requirements

Masters degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brazil

Degree requirements

Bacharel, Licenciado or professional title with a final mark of at least 7.5 or 8 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Brunei

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with GPA 4.0/5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3/4.0 (grade B+).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Chile

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 5-5.5/7 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with overall mark of 75%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Colombia

Degree requirements

Licenciado with ‘Acreditacion de alta calidad' and a GPA of 3.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Ptychion with a final mark of at least 7.5.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ecuador

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 17/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Egypt

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a university with an overall grade of 75%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

France

Degree requirements

Licence with mention bien or Maîtrise with final mark of at least 13.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Germany

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree or Magister Artium with a final mark of 2.4 or better.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ghana

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a public university with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Greece

Degree requirements

Ptychion from an AEI with a final mark of at least 7.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading institution with overall mark of 55-70% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Indonesia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA 3.5/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (Licence or Karshenasi) with a final mark of at least 15.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Degree requirements

Diploma di Laurea with an overall mark of at least 105.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Japan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a minimum C/GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Jordan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kazakhstan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall mark of 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5)/GPA 3,33.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kenya

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Kuwait

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lebanon

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.5/4.0 or 14/20.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malawi

Degree requirements

Masters degree, depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Mexico

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 8.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nepal

Degree requirements

Masters degree with overall mark of 80%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with second-class upper division or CGPA of at least 3.5/5.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall grade of B.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Oman

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Degree requirements

Four-year bachelors degree with overall grade of 65% or Masters with 60%

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Palestine

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Paraguay

Degree requirements

Bachelors with a final mark of at least 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Peru

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of 14/20 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Philippines

Degree requirements

Masters degree with 'very good' overall, or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Qatar

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with an overall CPGA of at least 3 (on a scale of 4).

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Russia

Degree requirements

Magistr or Specialist Diploma with a minimum average mark of at least 4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Saudi Arabia

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with a CGPA 3.5/5.0 or 3/4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division or CAP 4.0.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Degree requirements

Bachelors (honours) degree with second-class division 1.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Korea

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree from a leading university with CGPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or B+

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Degree requirements

Licenciado with a final mark of at least 2/4.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sri Lanka

Degree requirements

Bachelors Special degree with upper second honours.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Degree requirements

Licence or Diplôme with 5/6 or 8/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Taiwan

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with overall mark of 70%-85% depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Thailand

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Degree requirements

Lisans Diplomasi with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

United Arab Emirates

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA of at least 3.0/4.0 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree with CGPA 3.3-3.5/4.0 depending on your university.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Vietnam

Degree requirements

Bachelors degree (with a Graduate Thesis/research component) with CGPA of at least 3.3/4.0 or 7.5/10.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zambia

Degree requirements

Masters degree with GPA of 2.0/2.5 or equivalent.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Zimbabwe

Degree requirements

Bachelors (Honours) degree with second-class upper division.

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your country is not listed, you need to contact us and find out the qualification level you should have for this course. Contact us at pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Subject-specific requirements

Your qualification should be in a subject relevant to the Masters degree.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Standard level (6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component). 

Check your IELTS qualification meets all of our entry requirements and find out more about IELTS

Alternative English language qualifications

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade B or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above.

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill.

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English.

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language.

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade C (Honours) or above in English.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

English language support

If you don't meet the English language requirements for your degree, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Admissions information for applicants

How to apply

You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system

Personal statementYes

A personal statement is a piece of writing that you submit as part of your application. It should show us that you are the right person for Sussex by telling us why you want to study your course. 

Find out how to write a personal statement

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Course details

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to study this course full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. Modules for the full-time course are listed below.

For details about the part-time course, contact Philosophy Postgraduate Convener Dr Gordon Finlayson at j.g.finlayson@sussex.ac.uk

How will I study?

You’ll study core modules and options in the autumn and spring terms. In the summer term, you undertake supervised work on your dissertation.

You’ll be assessed through term papers and a 15,000-word dissertation.

Modules

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

Our experts

  • Department of Philosophy faculty
    Dr Corine Besson

    Dr Corine Besson

    Lecturer In Philosophy

    Research interests

    Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Language & Philosophical Logic

    View Corine Besson's profile

    Dr Anthony Booth

    Dr Anthony Booth

    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Applied Philosophy, Epistemic Normativity, Epistemology, Ethics, Ethics of Belief, Gettier Cases, Islamic Epistemology, Philosophy Of Mind

    View Anthony Booth's profile

    Dr Andrew Chitty

    Dr Andrew Chitty

    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Collective action, collective intentionality, constructivism in ethics, Ethics, Fichte, Hegel, Marxism, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, political theory, recognition theory

    View Andrew Chitty's profile

    Dr Ron Chrisley

    Dr Ron Chrisley

    Reader in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Artificial Intelligence, Cognition, Cognitive Science, Consciousness, Language & Philosophical Logic, Logic, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Mind, Philosophy of Science & Mathematics, & Mathematical Logic, Robotics

    View Ron Chrisley's profile

    Dr Katerina Deligiorgi

    Dr Katerina Deligiorgi

    Reader in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Aesthetics, Autonomy, Ethics, Free agency, Hegel, Kant, metaethics, norms, Philosophy, reasons, values

    View Katerina Deligiorgi's profile

    Dr Gordon Finlayson

    Dr Gordon Finlayson

    Reader in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Critical Theory, German Philosophy, Habermas, Hegel, History Of Philosophy, Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy

    View Gordon Finlayson's profile

    Prof Michael Morris

    Prof Michael Morris

    Professor of Philosophy

    Research interests

    Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Plato, Wittgenstein

    View Michael Morris's profile

    Dr Mahon O'Brien

    Dr Mahon O'Brien

    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Existentialism, Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, Philosophy

    View Mahon O'Brien's profile

    Dr Sarah Sawyer

    Dr Sarah Sawyer

    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy

    Research interests

    Anti-individualism, Content, Empty Names, Entitlement, Epistemology, Externalism, Fiction, Individualism, Internalism, Language & Philosophical Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy Of Mind, Warrant

    View Sarah Sawyer's profile

    Prof Tanja Staehler

    Prof Tanja Staehler

    Professor in European Philosophy

    Research interests

    Affects, Birth, Continental Aesthetics, Corporeality, Deconstruction, Derrida, Existentialism, Hegel, Heidegger, Husserl, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology, Philosophy of Culture, Philosophy of Dance, Philosophy of History, Plato, Pregnancy

    View Tanja Staehler's profile

    Dr Kathleen Stock

    Dr Kathleen Stock

    Reader In Philosophy

    Research interests

    Aesthetics, Fiction, Imagination, Interpretation, Philosophy, Philosophy of art, Sexual objectification

    View Kathleen Stock's profile

  • School of English faculty
    Dr Richard Adelman

    Dr Richard Adelman

    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests

    Aestheticism, Critical Theory and Marxism, Dramatic monologue, Eighteenth-century culture, Gothic, Idealist aesthetics, labour, Political economy, Repose, Romanticism, Victorian culture

    View Richard Adelman's profile

    Dr Natalia Cecire

    Lecturer in English & American Literature

    Research interests

    American Studies, English and American literature, Feminist theory, History and Philosophy of Science, Modern and contemporary American poetry

    View Natalia Cecire's profile

    Prof Sara Crangle

    Professor of Modernism and the Avant-Garde

    Research interests

    Abjection, Affect Studies, Archives and Editing, Avant-Gardism, Bataille, Bathos, Dada, Everydayness, Experimental Poetry, Futurism, Gertrude Stein, Grace Lake/Anna Mendelssohn, High and Late Modernism, James Joyce, Levinas, Mina Loy, Nietzsche, Phenomenology, Satire, Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis

    View Sara Crangle's profile

    Dr Sue Currell

    Dr Sue Currell

    Reader in American Literature

    Research interests

    American History, American Studies, Cultural History, English and American literature, Twentieth Century Literature

    View Sue Currell's profile

    Prof Matthew Dimmock

    Prof Matthew Dimmock

    Professor of Early Modern Studies

    Research interests

    English literature 1500-1700, History, Islam, Otherness, Prophet Muhammad

    View Matthew Dimmock's profile

    Dr Doug Haynes

    Dr Doug Haynes

    Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Visual Culture

    Research interests

    Affect Theory, American Modernism, American Visual Art, Critical Theory, Economic Theory, Fictions of Threat, Ideas of pornography, Ideas of security, Marxism, Modern and contemporary American literature, Postmodern Literature, Psychic phenomena as types of literature, Thomas Pynchon

    View Doug Haynes's profile

    Prof Margaret Healy

    Prof Margaret Healy

    Professor of Literature and Culture

    Research interests

    medical humanities, Renaissance studies, Shakespeare

    View Margaret Healy's profile

    Dr Michael Jonik

    Lecturer in English and American Literature

    Research interests

    African American literature and culture, American Philosophy, American Studies, Continental Philosophy, Critical Theory, Critical Theory and Marxism, Deleuze, Early American Literature, Emerson, English and American literature, Foucault, Henry James, History of science, Intellectual History, Melville, Nineteenth-Century American Literature, psychoanalysis, systems theory, Systems Theory; Control, The Transatlantic Enlightenment, Theory of mind, Thoreau

    View Michael Jonik's profile

    Prof Daniel Kane

    Prof Daniel Kane

    Professor of American Literature and Culture

    Research interests

    Modern and contemporary American poetry, Popular Music, US cinema and popular culture

    View Daniel Kane's profile

    Prof Maria Lauret

    Prof Maria Lauret

    Professor of American Literature and Culture

    Research interests

    20th C Americanisation in the US, African American literature and culture, Alice Walker, American feminism, American immigrant literature, American immigration, Bharati Mukherjee, Junot Diaz, multilingual literature, Richard Rodriguez

    View Maria Lauret's profile

    Prof Vicky Lebeau

    Professor of English

    Research interests

    cinema and childhood, image and text, NHS in literature and culture, psychoanalysis

    View Vicky Lebeau's profile

    Dr John Masterson

    Dr John Masterson

    Lecturer in World Literatures

    Research interests

    20th and 21st Century Literature and Art, African American literature and culture, African diasporas, American immigrant literature, apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, English and American literature, Literary And Cultural Theory, Literature of Exile, Migrant and Diasporic Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Postcolonial Literature and Culture, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, postcolonial studies, South and Southern Africa, World literatures

    View John Masterson's profile

    Dr William McEvoy

    Dr William McEvoy

    Senior Lecturer in English

    Research interests

    Contemporary Theatre, Playwriting, Site-specific theatre and performance, Theatre and Ethics, Theory and criticism, Writer-director relationship

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    Dr Rachel O'Connell

    Lecturer In Post 1350 English Literature

    Research interests

    disability, Gender And Sexuality Studies, Queer studies, Queer Theory

    View Rachel O'Connell's profile

    Dr Catherine Packham

    Dr Catherine Packham

    Senior Lecturer in English

    Research interests

    Adam Smith, Eighteenth-century culture, Erasmus Darwin, Gender and Sexuality, History of political economy, History of science, Mary Wollstonecraft, Political economy, Scottish Enlightenment, Vitalism

    View Catherine Packham's profile

    Dr Chloe Porter

    Dr Chloe Porter

    Lecturer in English Literature

    Research interests

    Early modern drama, Early modern material culture, English literature 1500-1700, John Lyly, Materiality, Renaissance studies, Renaissance visual culture, Shakespeare, word and image debates

    View Chloe Porter's profile

    Dr Jason Price

    Dr Jason Price

    Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance

    Research interests

    Activist Performance, Aesthetics and Politics, Comedy, Contemporary Theatre, Dramaturgy, Marxism, Performance Histories, popular culture, Popular Theatre, Puppet Forms, Site-Specific and Public Art, Theatre and Community

    View Jason Price's profile

    Dr Minoli Salgado

    Dr Minoli Salgado

    Reader in English

    Research interests

    Biopolitics, Creative Writing, Human Rights Discourse, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Salman Rushdie, South Asian Literature in English, Terror and Transnational Writing, Trauma studies

    View Minoli Salgado's profile

    Dr Samuel Solomon

    Dr Samuel Solomon

    Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing

    Research interests

    Contemporary Poetry, Creative and critical writing, Feminist theory, Gender and Sexuality, Literary And Cultural Theory, Marxism, Modernist and contemporary writing, Print Culture

    View Samuel Solomon's profile

    Dr Bethan Stevens

    Dr Bethan Stevens

    Lecturer in English and Creative & Critical Writing

    Research interests

    Book Illustration, Creative and critical writing, Historical Fiction, Modernism, Museum Studies, popular culture, The History of Printmaking, The Long Nineteenth Century, The Novel, The Short Story, Victorian culture, Word and Image Theory

    View Bethan Stevens's profile

    Prof Keston Sutherland

    Prof Keston Sutherland

    Professor of Poetics

    Research interests

    Contemporary Poetry, Critical Theory, Marx, Philosophy, Poetics, psychoanalysis, Romanticism, Samuel Beckett, Wordsworth

    View Keston Sutherland's profile

    Dr Pam Thurschwell

    Dr Pam Thurschwell

    Reader

    Research interests

    adolescence in literature, English and American literature, Henry James, Literary And Cultural Theory, psychoanalysis, The supernatural (19th/20th century)

    View Pam Thurschwell's profile

    Dr Katie Walter

    Dr Katie Walter

    Senior Lecturer in Medieval English Literature

    Research interests

    Medieval English literature, Medieval literary theory, Medieval medicine, Reading practices, Reginald Pecock, The body, The senses, Vernacular theology, William Langland

    View Katie Walter's profile

    Prof Marcus Wood

    Prof Marcus Wood

    Professor of English

    Research interests

    Medical, Religious and literary traditions in late medieval England

    View Marcus Wood's profile

    Dr Tom Wright

    Dr Tom Wright

    Senior Lecturer in English

    Research interests

    American Studies, citizenship, Cultural History, Media & Communication Studies, Nineteenth century literature and culture, Theatre and performance studies

    View Tom Wright's profile

Course enquiries

Dr Gordon Finlayson
Philosophy Postgraduate Convener
+44(0)1273 876629
j.g.finlayson@​sussex.ac.uk

Find out about the Department of Philosophy

Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

UK/EU students:
£7,700 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£7,700 per year
International students:
£15,100 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

You can borrow up to £10,280 to help with fees and living costs if your course starts on or after 1 August 2017. Loans are available from the Student Loans Company if you’re from the UK or if you’re an EU national studying for a Masters.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Scholarships for this course have yet to be confirmed. Please check back later in the year.

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Careers

Our graduates have gone on to careers in:

  • education, the charity sector and NGOs
  • writing, journalism, and libraries and archives
  • publishing, website production and marketing.

A number of our graduates go on to further study and careers in academia.

Graduate destinations

90% of students from the School of History, Art History and Philosophy were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our Philosophy students have gone on to jobs including:

  • editorial assistant, Pavilion Books
  • media officer, Wickham Youth Action
  • assistant, Gareth Thomas MP.

(EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 for postgraduates)

Explorations in Philosophy and Literature

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

The study of the relation between philosophy and literature offers a unique opportunity to explore new perspectives on literary aesthetics and criticism, to examine disciplinary boundaries and traditions, and finally to address both the philosophy of literature and literary treatments of philosophy. By encouraging rigorous and in-depth engagement with a variety of perspectives and a range of authors, the module provides you with an environment for stimulating dialogue between philosophy and literature.

Literature and Philosophy Dissertation

  • 60 credits
  • Summer Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module gives you the opportunity to undertake supervised work on a dissertation of up to 20,000, words on a topic of your choice agreed with your supervisor. If you are a part-time student, you will begin your background reading for the dissertation in the first summer term and vacation of your studies.

Bearing Witness: Terror and Trauma in Global Literature

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

The module explores the representation of terror, trauma and testimonial address in a range of contemporary international literary texts. Through a textual and contextual study of these works, key issues such as the non-narratability of trauma, the ethics of speaking for the other, the intersection between the politics of reading, writing and bearing witness, the creation of cross-cultural communities in the representation and reading of trauma, and the relationship between gender, intimacy and the representation of the body in pain, will be studied in relation to critical readings from terror and trauma studies.

The range of literary texts reflects the global cultural reach of the module, from postcolonial texts from a wide range of cultural locations to literatures that engage with critical discourses generated by the Holocaust and the War on Terror. Opening with an emphasis on cross-cultural connections and critical readings, the focus on historical positioning becomes more pronounced as the module proceeds.

Creativity and Utopia

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module explores the intimate relationship between creativity and utopia, as it is played out in literary and theoretical texts from More to the present day. It examines the extent to which the art work can create new worlds (brave or otherwise), and traces the historical changes in the utopian function of literature, in its various philosophical, literary and theoretical manifestations. After an initial grounding in More's "Utopia", the module moves through some key eighteenth and nineteenth century utopias, before focusing on the ways in which utopian thought is refashioned in modernist and contemporary writing. In paying attention to the changing function of utopian thinking in twentieth century literature, the module also explores how the theoretical developments of the modern and contemporary period have inherited a utopian legacy. How has Marxist utopian thinking informed modern and contemporary utopianism? How does the Frankfurt School investment in utopian thought relate to Derridean and Deleuzian conceptions of utopian possibility? The relationship between creativity and utopia will be explored both through the reading of several key utopian texts, and through reflections on the practice of creative writing.

Critical Issues in Queer Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

Queer theory and/or queer studies, which first emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, brings poststructuralist epistemologies and radical political sensibilities to the social, cultural, and historical study of sexuality – and, indeed, the study of eroticism, relationality, and kinship more broadly.

This module provides you with the opportunity to gain an overview of key concepts and debates in queer theory and to read important queer theoretical texts in depth. We will discuss some foundational texts in queer theory and will explore some of the intellectual, social, cultural, and political contexts from which queer theory emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

We will also explore a selection of key issues and approaches in contemporary queer studies, which might include:

  • transgender theories
  • affect studies
  • transnational contexts
  • theorisations of contemporary neoliberalism.

Throughout this module you will work to build up a theoretical foundation that will allow you to attend in nuanced and informed ways to the politics of sexuality, relationship, and kinship as these politics are manifested and remade in texts and other cultural artefacts.

Ethics and Normativity

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to ethics and normativity - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

Possible topics may be drawn from the writings of historical figures concerned with these topics, such as Aristotle, Hegel, Kant and Plato for example, and from areas such as:

  • applied ethics
  • normative ethics
  • meta-ethics
  • norms of thought
  • norms of language
  • social norms
  • political norms.

Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

Interpretation, Theory, and Research Methods in Literary Study

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module provides students beginning the English Literature, Culture and Theory MA with the knowledge and practical experience of research methods needed to undertake research as a literary scholar. It enables you to interrogate some of the theoretical and cultural assumptions that underpin research in English, both past and present.

Literature and Society, 1750-1890

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

Literature & Society, 1750-1890 explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It offers you a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing you with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works. Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

Literature in the Institution: the university and the study of culture

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

We live, work and study in the midst of the large-scale transformation of education at local, national and international levels. A related (but not identicial) development is the growing, although certainly not new, 'crisis' of the humanities characterised by myriad explanations of just what it is that we do and by contentious justifications for just why do we do it. As students and scholars of literature and culture, we may wonder how these two interrelated phenomena came into being and what exactly the study of literatures and cultures can contribute to their resolution. This module will take on these questions through a range of approaches. We will consider the origins of the European research university and its connections to moral philosophy, the relatively recent development of the study of 'English' in the UK and its former colonies, the relationship between higher education and the 20th century welfare state, the uses of literary and cultural study as parts of social movements within and outside of the University, and contemporary debates about the privatisation and market-rationalisation of education.

Modernist and Contemporary Fictions

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module will explore the terms modernism and postmodernism, and the relationship between the two, by reading a range of novels which engage with issues of artistic form, subjectivity, and modernity. We'll ask a variety of questions including:

  • How has the 20th and 21st century novel represented the attempt to delineate the shape of individual lives through ‘portraits’?
  • What changes to the novel’s terrain have been effected by contemporary history, war, or historical trauma?
  • How useful is the term postmodernism for describing contemporary writing?
  • How have high and mass cultural forms, such as visual art, the cinema, the web, etc. influenced contemporary writing?
  • How do recent novels portray the aesthetic?
  • What different ideas of temporality do we find in modernist and postmodernist writing?
  • What versions of borrowing from the past do we find in modernism and postmodernism and what purposes do these borrowings serve?
  • Is there what the critic Andreas Huyssen has called a ‘great divide’ between modernism and postmodernism?
  • What continuities might we find between modernism and postmodernism (if those terms are still useful)?

Authors read will include Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Don DeLillo, J.M. Coetzee, Jonathan Coe and Marilynne Robinson.

Psychoanalysis and Creative Writing

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

Psychoanalysis has exciting and major implications for all kinds of writing, not least that sort called 'creative'. This module will focus on some of the ways in which a close reading of psychoanalytic texts, especially those of Sigmund Freud himself, can be linked to the theory and practice of creative writing. We will look in particular detail at how Freud's work illuminates the question of literature (and vice versa) in relation to such topics as the uncanny, fantasy and day-dreaming, story-telling and the death drive, chance, humour, mourning and loss. Concentrating on detailed reading and discussion of a series of psychoanalytic, critical and literary texts, the module will lead you through to having an opportunity to submit a term-paper work that may (if you wish) include a creative writing as well as a critical component.

Theory in Practice: Readings in Contemporary Theory and Literature

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

What is 'theory'? Although it goes in and out of fashion with the speed of rising or plunging hemlines, the use of theory, literary theory, or literary criticism as a way to read literary texts is always useful. And contrary to popular opinion, it's not the application of an arcane or secret language to garner a secret knowledge. Rather, it is a self-conscious and informed method of analysing the presuppositions behind the apparently natural way we read; indeed, sometimes it's a method of reading in itself, derived from a philosophy or theory of language, as is the case with Bataille or Derrida. Theory sounds dull, but really it's a creative practice, as is reading, which Walter Benjamin likened to telepathy.

This module seeks, through a number of case studies, to address a number of critical paradigms that have proved significant in the post-war period. In particular, notions of materialism, materiality and historicity will be set in tension with ideas about relativism, deconstruction and 'play' as very different ways of construing some iconic American texts. Alongside the close reading of primary and secondary texts, discussions in class will be directed towards such subjects as: the construction/reflection of subjectivity in language and discourse; the relation of the literary text to sociality; the effects and efficacy of modernist/avant-garde/postmodern literary techniques; and the writing of race, gender and class.

World and Mind

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to the world, the mind, and the relation between the two - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

Possible topics may be drawn from philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology, and from the writings of historical figures concerned with these topics, both in the analytic and continental traditions, such as Burge, Husserl, and McDowell for example.

Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

Capital and Poetics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In the wake of the end of the Cold War and especially since September 11, as neoconservatives replaced Marxism with 'terrorism' as their new and irrational enemy, many writers in America and Europe sought with redoubled commitment to revitalise elements of Marxist thinking in their creative practice: to confront the new dominant form of rationality with a creative rationality of the dominated.

In this module, you will investigate the history and present significance of that commitment in several ways:

  • through study of the tradition of Marxist thinking about the relation of aesthetics to social and political life
  • through consideration of mainstream trends in contemporary literature and the economic and political interests they reflect and fortify
  • through the evaluation of theoretical claims made by contemporary writers themselves, both in creative writing and in criticism, about their own strategies of opposition and the problem of their potential efficacy.

Deconstruction and Creative Writing

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module focuses on deconstruction, especially in relation to the work of Jacques Derrida, and on the theory and practice of creative writing. Following a preliminary discussion of the question 'what is deconstruction?', we will explore a series of topics including the gift, madness, secrets and drugs. You will explore texts by Kafka, Borges, Katherine Mansfield, Blanchot and Harry Mathews, for example, as well as work by Derrida and Cixous. You will concentrating on detailed reading and discussion of a range of deconstructive, critical and literary texts.

You will have the opporutinity to submit a term-paper that can (if you wish), include a creative writing as well as a critical component.

Hegel and Marx

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

The first half of this module examines Hegel's social and political philosophy and its place in his overall account of human consciousness, historical change, and the Absolute. You'll consider notions such as recognition, spirit, freedom and ethical life in Hegel, and their political implications.

In the second half, you examine Marx as an ethical and political thinker. You'll look at a range of his works, beginning with his earliest, investigating his ideas of freedom, species-being, alienation, class, ideology, fetishism and capital, and asking on what basis he advocates and expects the replacement of capitalism by communism.

Image and Text 1780-1880

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Concentrating on the intersections between visual and verbal cultures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this module explores the intricate inter-relationships of visual images and texts (poetry, non-fictional prose, and fiction). Beginning with Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757) and Immanuel Kant's 'Analytic of the Sublime' from The Critique of Judgement (1790), in relationship to recent theoretical work on the sublime (by Lyotard and Eagleton for example), we consider the aesthetic of the sublime as played out in painting and in art theory. Subsequent topics include: the case of the Elgin Marbles; Ekphrasis; discourses of the grotesque in John Ruskin and William Morris; poetry and scientific discourse; Pre-Raphaelitism; the history and theory of nineteenth century photography; representations of childhood in Lewis Carroll, Christina Rossetti and J.M. Barrie; 'Symbolism' and the 'Supernatural'.

ImagiNation: The Great American Novel

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

'The Great American Novel' became something of a shibboleth in the 20th century, for American writers and critics alike. Was it possible to capture the essence, as well as the diversity, of the American nation in fiction? And if so, how should this be done – in a novel of panoramic reach, such as John Dos Passos' USA to Don De Lillo's Underworld, or in representation of America's historico-political unconscious, such as Toni Morrison's Beloved or Jayne Anne Phillips' Machine Dreams, or could a topic so ostensibly small as family life come to take on the burden of representative American-ness, as in Jonathan Frantzen's The Corrections?

In this course you will look at representations of American history in fiction-both film and literature-to discover how American fiction of the 20th and 21st centuries has represented American history, politics, and most of all national identity. Because of this subject matter, you will be taking on big novels, which may also be great –though the definition of 'greatness' will itself be part of your investigation, rather than a foregone conclusion. You will, for example, consider questions of representativeness as well as representation, and this will involve issues of gender, race and ethnicity, mainstream and margin, the local and the cosmopolitan. You will be drawing on cultural theory and historiography to put your reading and viewing into scholarly perspective.

Language, Art and Representation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you conduct a detailed examination of current research relating to language, art and representation - as undertaken by faculty members in the department from both the analytic and the continental traditions.

You can explore your own research interests in relation to the diverse current perspectives offered by faculty, and write your research paper in the area that interests you most.

The specific topics included in this module will vary according to the research of the specific faculty members teaching it.

For example, possible topics may be drawn from areas such as:

  • analytic aesthetics
  • continental aesthetics
  • philosophy of language
  • philosophy of literature
  • fiction.

Time will be given to helping you develop your own research.

Literature and Society, 1750-1890

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

Literature & Society, 1750-1890 explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It offers you a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing you with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works. Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

New Configurations in Critical Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module will explore a wide range of contemporary critical approaches that have emerged not only out of the influential work of 20th century philosophy, literary theory and psychoanalysis, but also from a variety of disciplinary quarters. Our investigations will be loosely mapped to four interrelated topics of literature, aesthetics, politics and science but comprise a number of pressing theoretical issues. These are: affect, biopolitics, 'life', impersonality, animality, the posthuman, the status of conceptual art, the earth, political ontology, the common and communism, new materialisms, science and the brain, networks and information, systems theory and complexity theory. Possible readings include the work of Deleuze, Guattari, Agamben, Badiou, Rancière, Esposito, Bennett, Malabou, Smithson or Luhmann.

Philosophical Research Skills

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module, you develop the skills required for effective research and prepare yourself for writing your dissertation.

You cover topics including:

  • choosing a research topic
  • identifying the relevant literature
  • assessing arguments
  • writing a critical literature review
  • critically evaluating your own work
  • writing in a professional manner
  • delivering an effective presentation
  • structuring a dissertation
  • writing a dissertation.

The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

This module explores the origins, development and impact of the ideas of some of the major theorists of the Frankfurt School. We begin by looking at the early ideas of the Frankfurt School in 1930s, which were influenced by Marx. Then we address the ways that the Frankfurt School theorists attempted to integrate various other aspects of thought in response to historical developments.

We will focus on texts by Benjamin, Habermas, Horkheimer, Kircheimer, Marcuse, Neumann and Adorno. But we also look at the theorists that most influenced them, such as Hegel, Marx and Lukács. In addition, we'll look at certain key themes in Frankfurt School criticism, including:

  • dialectics and negative dialectics
  • determinate negation
  • critique and immanent critique
  • positivism
  • instrumental reason
  • Enlightenment.

Voices in the Archives: Writing from History

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1 credits

In this module you will consider how writers draw on history to shape their creative writing.

You will think about how different literary genres engage with the past through form, narrative and literary language, and look at the cultural impact of contemporary historical fiction. You will also consider work by poets and film-makers.

Authors studied may include Sarah Waters, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, Hilary Mantel, David Dabydeen, Mario Petrucci, George Szirtes and Michel Hazanavicius.

You will take part in creative workshops and develop key research skills, exploring the methodological implications of using physical and virtual archives.

You will work with historical newspapers, letters, diaries, prints, photographs and other documents to experiment with using language from the past to inflect contemporary voices.

Topics for discussion include the critical and ethical implications of writing about real historical events and characters. You will consider how contemporary writing is founded on a long tradition of writing from history, often re-visiting the past with a particular political or creative agenda, from Shakespeare and Dickens onwards.

You'll also explore how recent historical fiction interacts with other genres, for example in the fantasies of Susanna Clarke and Angela Carter and consider theoretical work on memory and nostalgia by critics such as Mieke Bal and Svetlana Boym.

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