Novel Theory (Q3312)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module examines the theory of the Eurocentric novel (that is, the European novel as well as non-European novels that are invested in it, e.g. the colonial/postcolonial novel) between 1700 and 2000, with special attention to historicist and materialist approaches. The module is intended to provide you with advanced theoretical tools for understanding the novel as a literary form and for examining the kinds of literary questions that arise in relation to the novel.

Topics covered may include narratology, genre theory, problems in literary history and scale, and literary realisms. Theorists studied may include Walter Benjamin, György Lukács, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, Nancy Armstrong, Simon Gikandi, and Deidre Lynch. It is recommended, but not required, that you will have taken The Novel in Year 2.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: