Voices in the Archives: Writing from History (944Q3B)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

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.

Teaching

100%: Seminar

Assessment

100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

We’re currently reviewing contact hours for modules and will update with further information as soon as it is available.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Courses

This module is offered on the following courses: