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.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Presentation)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2021/22. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. 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: