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Our Joint Honours course in English Literature and American Studies allows you to combine the study of literary texts across a broad geographical and chronological range with a specific focus on the literature, culture, history, and politics of North America.

Through inspired teaching and intellectual debate, we will nurture your passion by developing your creative and critical thinking. You will learn how to communicate effectively and solve complex problems as you develop an awareness of how past cultures, societies and texts shape our present and future.

Our Joint Honours course in English Literature and American Studies allows you to combine the study of literary texts across a broad geographical and chronological range with a specific focus on the literature, culture, history, and politics of North America.

Through inspired teaching and intellectual debate, we will nurture your passion by developing your creative and critical thinking. You will learn how to communicate effectively and solve complex problems as you develop an awareness of how past cultures, societies and texts shape our present and future.

Course Information

UCAS Code
T710

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Humanities

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2021 or September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

English at Northumbria University

Discover more about what you will learn on the course, more about our academics research interests, and hear from current students by watching our videos.

Department / Humanities

Our Department of Humanities includes the subject areas of History, English Literature, English Language and Linguistics, Creative Writing and American Studies.

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature and American Studies BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Humanities Foundation Year. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2021/22

Standard Entry

120 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Subject Requirements:

There are no specific subject requirements for this course.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants shoud have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Entry Requirements 2022/23

Standard Entry

120 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Subject Requirements:

There are no specific subject requirements for this course.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants shoud have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2021/22 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: TBC

EU Fee in Year 1: TBC

International Fee in Year 1: TBC

 

Click here for UK, EU and International Scholarships scholarship, fees, and funding information.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

Fees and Funding 2022/23 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1*: TBC

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.



EU Fee in Year 1: **TBC

International Fee in Year 1: TBC

ADDITIONAL COSTS

TBC

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Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AM4001 -

Introduction to American Studies (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers a practical and historical introduction to American Studies as a distinct, multifaceted, and evolving discipline, while also allowing you to acquire and practice key learning, research, and communication skills which will be of use throughout your university career and beyond. The module is content driven, with readings and themes drawn from across the entire range of American history, literature, politics, and popular culture, but particular emphasis will be placed on helping you to understand and master the basic tools and protocols of academic scholarship, thereby helping you to make the transition from school to university level work.
The skills which this module will help you to develop will include finding, reading and evaluating various kinds of primary and secondary sources; understanding the ways in which scholarship advances through constructive criticism and debate; correct referencing; finding an effective academic writing style; making oral presentations; and designing, researching and writing an independent research project.

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AM4002 -

Contemporary America (Core,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to key aspects of contemporary US culture, history, and politics. Chronologically the course focuses on the period from 1992 to the present; in disciplinary terms it embraces economics, film, history, international relations, literature, music, performance, politics, sexuality, and visual culture; thematically, the module emphasizes the importance of racial, ethnic, gender, class and religious identities, consumerism and globalization, domestic and international configurations of US political, social, economic, and cultural power, and the politics of cultural representation in the media and popular culture. Adopting a variegated, multi- and interdisciplinary approach, the module enable you to combine an enhanced empirical knowledge of the contemporary US to useful interpretive frameworks such as postmodernism, queer theory, and globalization theory. The module is organized around a mixture of broad thematic surveys (e.g. Major Trends in Contemporary US Literature) and narrower case studies (e.g. The Challenges of Post-9/11 Literature).

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EL4001 -

Introduction to Literary Studies (Core,20 Credits)

You will be given the opportunity to familiarise yourself with conceptual issues such as canonicity, the unconscious, the tragic, the nature of the author, gender and postmodernity. Lectures will introduce you to these concepts and modes of applying these to literary texts as well as introducing you to new material in the texts themselves. Seminars will follow the lectures, where you will discuss and explore with your tutor and with your fellow students both the texts and their historical and theoretical contexts.

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EL4003 -

Representing the US: From Slavery to Terrorism (Core,20 Credits)

This module focusses on US literature, film and television and it asks you to think about US culture at large; it will introduce you to a range of significant US texts from the nineteenth century to the present. You will make connections between diverse texts ranging from writings of slaves in the nineteenth century to fiction that responds to the trauma of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. You will enjoy US literature, film and television across a range of periods – work from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries will be covered – and you will examine fiction, poetry, drama, film, and television in relation to the idea of a national literary canon and in the context of social and political change, from the Civil War to the War on Terror. As a survey module, it encourages you to examine how key works engage with questions of identity, slavery, the American Dream, trauma, freedom, and national security.

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EL4006 -

Concepts in Criticism and Culture (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces you to key critical concepts in literary studies and asks how those concepts may be applied to the study of less canonical forms of writing and other media.

You will be introduced to theoretical and critical material, addressing key issues about literature and culture such as:
• how is the literary canon is constructed
• how might our gender, race or class background affect how we value and understand literature and popular culture

During the module you will be encouraged to evaluate the significance of debates about authorship, identity and literary value. You will be asked to read a range of key academic essays, discussing them in relation to a range of examples from popular culture as well as literature. You will be asked to think about the values attached to these different forms of cultural production. The module aims to foster your skills in close textual analysis, informed by key theoretical perspectives and independent reflective practice.

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EL4016 -

Talking Texts (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers students a forum to develop academic skills in close reading and analysis. A range of texts are examined within a reading-focussed workshop, including: the novel, short stories, poetry, plays, journalism, academic essays and online media such as blogs and flash fiction. Students are exposed to a range of writing in order to consider and develop their own reading practices. The discursive workshops develop speaking, listening, and critical skills through participation in classroom activities. The module prepares students for work at degree level, encouraging them to become independent learners in a supportive environment.

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AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional,40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

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AM5002 -

American Studies Extended Essay (Core,20 Credits)

The American Studies Extended Essay is designed as an opportunity for you to apply and build on the skills you have acquired in Level Four core modules and prepare yourself for the demands of the American Studies Dissertation in Level Six. It is an exercise in independent research and is intended to be a piece of work that utilises an interdisciplinary approach to a selection of primary and secondary sources. Extended Essay topics will be developed in conjunction with an appropriate subject specialist.

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AM5003 -

The American West (Core,20 Credits)

Ever watched a Western film? Heard about the American frontier? Wondered how westward expansion helped redefine the United States? This is the module for you. It focuses on the American West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, inviting you to consider its culture, history, politics, and society. Key themes include race, the Western movie genre, western literature, the frontier’s impact on the West and America in a wider sense, and the environment, all of which will be examined through different theoretical and methodological approaches.

Learning about the different ways in which we can see, understand and explain the West will provide you with a better range of tools to form your own understanding and explanation of what we can observe in the world today. For example, considering Western movies will encourage you to think afresh about American violence, civilization, and gender. Analysis of the frontier will develop your understanding of American progress, masculinity, and racism. Thinking about the western environment will prompt you to reassess the relationship between our natural environment and society.

At a theoretical level, this team-taught module will introduce you to the concept of ‘place’ within a framework informed by the multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches of American Studies. In this, it should challenge you to consider the way that History interacts with, for example, Film or Literature, and surprise you by encouraging you to rethink your prior assumptions about the American Experience. You’ll never think about America in the same way again, we promise.

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EL5003 -

Early Modern Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to read texts written in the period 1500-1700 historically. Lectures and seminars will encourage you to learn about the early modern period, and to situate texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More, and Philip Sidney. You will learn about poetry, prose, and drama – situating literary genres from the period in relation to themes that include: class, race, sexuality, politics, authority, gender, and ideas of literary production itself. Lectures will trace the afterlives of some of the most influential texts ever written, and will encourage you to read these textual traditions in light of a range of western literary ideologies.

Building upon work completed at Level 4 on early modern authors like Shakespeare and Donne, this module offers students a more comprehensive survey of the early modern period. Encouraging students to read literature historically, Early Modern Cultures fosters key skills in tutor-led and independent reading and research that will complement a range of studies at level 6.

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EL5004 -

Modernism and Modernity (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will gain an understanding of the relation between literary modernism and modernity in the early part of the twentieth century. The module provides you with conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the relation between art and social life. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the ways in which different literary genres prompted modernist experiments in form and with the various debates taking place between literary critics, writers, philosophers and cultural historians in early-twentieth-century Britain and the USA.

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EL5006 -

Poetry: Tradition and Experiment (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will focus on key moments in the development of poetic theory and practice, from the early modern period to the present day. In this module you will examine poems as sites at which tradition and experiment collide and intertwine. Through the close analysis of a small number of individual poems by ground-breaking poets, you will develop your understanding of the dynamic relationship between poetic form and content. In doing so, you will reflect upon and interrogate the complex ways in which poetic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about nation, class, race, and gender. You will consider how the evolution of poetry and poetics coalesces with questions of aesthetics and ideology.

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EL5010 -

Historical Fiction (Optional,20 Credits)

What is historical fiction? When and why did historical fiction begin to be written? How have later writers of historical fiction built on or surpassed early forms of historical fiction? What did or does historical fiction tell us about the world we live in? This module addresses these questions, with a survey of historical fiction from its origins in the 19th century to its varied forms in the 21st century. You will learn to contextualise each historical novel in relation to the conflicts and strains of the period in which it was made and consumed, while also thinking about the relations between writing, gender, religion, and politics, issues of literary influence, and the function of art in times of crisis, past and present.

Building on your work correlating the historical novel and short story at Level 4 (Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and ‘The Love of a Good Woman’ by Alice Munro), and prefiguring your extended writing work for the dissertation and on Level 6 modules, this module will develop your understanding of historical fiction as a literary genre. This will involve looking at its origins with Walter Scott’s 12th Century Medieval Romance and Folklore and then moving to the Tudors, the French Revolution, the Victorian Era and the Black British history after the Second World War. You will be examining close links between fictional re-imaginings of the past and issues surrounding changing national identities and popular memory. Finally you will be exploring the relationship between the historical novel and a range of other subgenres such as fantasy, social realism, postmodernism, romance, psychoanalysis, the Gothic, biography, spiritualism, detective fiction and postcolonialism.

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EL5026 -

Literary Revolutions, Eighteenth Century to Romanticism (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will study a range of texts from the eighteenth century to the Romantic period. The module considers a period in which literature and culture witnessed a succession of revolutionary changes. The novel emerged as a new form; female writers and readers took on a new prominence; the print market expanded enormously; and writers responded to the seismic changes in society caused by a period of war, imperial expansion, and political and social revolution. You will study a diverse and unusual range of texts that emerged from this period, and learn how to link the texts to the period’s context.

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HI5034 -

Setting America Right: Conservatism in the United States, 1933 - 2016 (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will explore the history of conservatism in the United States of America from the 1930s to the present day. Beginning with opposition to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, this module will trace the evolution of American conservatism through the era of Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and all the way up to the emergence of Donald Trump and the ‘alt-right’. At the heart of this module is a simple question: did the U.S. ‘turn right’ during the twentieth century? In answering that question, you will grapple with the fundamental issue of what it means to be a ‘conservative’ in America and how that label has been used and fought over in different eras and contexts.

You will learn about developments in high politics and at the grassroots, and gain an understanding of conservative movements both within and without the Republican Party. As well as learning about crucial events in recent U.S. political history (such as Barry Goldwater’s transformational 1964 presidential campaign), you will learn about the ways that conservatives revolutionised the nation’s political culture, pioneering innovative electoral techniques such as direct mail and constructing formidable conservative media outlets like Fox News. The module is organised in a broadly chronological way, but you will also explore key themes and movements that span decades, such as the religious right, anti-feminism, and ‘colour-blind’ conservatism.

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IR5010 -

Foreign Policy Analysis (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn about the most significant issues and challenges of our times in the domain of foreign policy. While grounded in IR theory, you will be introduced to foreign policy analysis (FPA)-specific frameworks and levels of analysis such as to systems of governance, decision making structures and models, leadership analysis, the role of the media, public opinion and special interest groups. Empirically, you will learn about the foreign policy of key actors in the international system towards a region or set of issues such as, for example, US and China foreign policy.

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MP5022 -

Cultural Identities on Screen (Optional,20 Credits)

The module will focus on the televisual representation and articulation of cultural identities in Britain and the US. We will look at how gender, ethnicity, national and regional identities are constructed through an examination of different genres and areas of screen media, such as drama, comedy and current affairs. We will explore issues such as class, gender and racial stereotypes, visibility of minority groups and integration. Throughout the course we will also consider the function of television, considering what its role might be in the construction of cultural identities.

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AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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AM6004 -

States of Nature: Environments and Peoples in the Americas (Core,20 Credits)

Focusing on North and South America, this module examines the interaction between humans and the environment throughout history. We will discuss the ways in which various peoples experienced their environment: how they attempted to change it, how they were limited by it, and how they thought about nature. In doing so, we will consider historical change at several levels:

1. Material and ecological: the physical changes that humans in the American have wrought over the past 10,000 years.

2. Social and political: the connection between peoples’ use of the environment and the way in which American societies developed.

3. Intellectual and ideological: how individuals and societies have understood nature at various points throughout history and how this understanding has shaped their actions.

You will find out about the relationship between humans and nature in the period before European expansion in the Americas and, following on from this, you will consider the ecological impact of European colonialism. The module content covers human activities such as farming and mining, but also the impact of floods, hurricanes and climate change. You will consider the spread of cities, the role of their hinterlands and the creation of national parks. In the final sections of the module, you will examine the manifold impacts of consumer culture (including waste and pollution) as well as the rise of environmentalist movements that were critical of humans’ ecological footprint.

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EL6004 -

Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Optional,20 Credits)

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) to Alan Ball’s True Blood (2008-), this module invites you to explore the dark, shadowy world of the Gothic in relation to a diverse range of literary texts and modern media. Combining the study of familiar canonical fictions with new and challenging material, we will train our focus on the enigmatic figure of the vampire, examining its various transitions and developments through the lens of critical and cultural theory.

Through an analysis of the Gothic, the module aims to develop your critical thinking, as well as your existing knowledge of literature, film, and television dating from 1816 to the present day. In doing so, it will encourage you to reflect on and interrogate the complex ways in which Gothic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about gender and sexuality.

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EL6009 -

Romanticism and Childhood (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will inform you about the transformations to the concept of childhood that occurred in the Romantic period (1760-1830). It will challenge you to analyse various celebrated representations of children and childhood in British Romantic literature. A new and distinctive attitude towards childhood was a core element of Romantic culture. Many British Romantic writers were invested in such issues as children’s education, imaginative fantasy literature, child-psychology, social injustices afflicting children, and religious questions of childhood innocence. This module will encourage you to develop an historical awareness of the changing culture of childhood in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. You will engage with the politics of education and children’s imaginative reading in the wake of the French Revolution (1789). Authors studied include William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many more important writers of the period. This module encompasses a range of significant literature of the period, including poetry, prose, novels, and children’s literature.

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EL6017 -

History, Myth, Narrative: Prose Writing about the First World War (Optional,20 Credits)

You will explore a selection of key prose texts (novels and short stories) about the First World War that were written between 1914 and the present day. You will relate these novels and short stories to a range of influential critical ideas across literary studies and history. The module will help you to understand the close links between literary writing about the war and the way the war has been remembered in Britain at different points in time and will develop your research skills beyond your own discipline by allowing you to engage with scholarly concepts and sources in history, psychology and sociology. By reading a range of autobiographical and fictional prose texts, you will think about the value of literary texts as sources of cultural history, and you will investigate the changing historical contexts in which these texts have been produced, published and read. Themes and topics you will cover include the representation of soldiers, enemies and allies, class and gender in war writing, formal and publishing aspects and memory and remembrance.

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EL6018 -

The Black Atlantic: Literature, Slavery and Race (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to a range of texts which have been created out of, or about, the experience of African peoples in the diaspora from the seventeenth century to the present. It will encourage you to relate your understanding of the texts to the cultural and historical background from which they developed. Following on from level four core modules this module will develop your understanding of the concept of the ‘Atlantic World’ and theories of local, national and global cultures as well as theories of race and postcolonial theory. You will be encouraged to recognise the activity of the slave trade as the beginning point of the Atlantic World as an imagined space that challenges national and chronological boundaries and speaks of the powerful and enduring legacies of slavery.

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EL6019 -

Writing the Body 1800-1900 (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn that he body is a crucial, if often overlooked element in all literature, whether it be in terms of sexuality, gender, representations of glamorous diseases -such as consumption in the nineteenth century - or the final fate of the body, death. This module aims to introduce students to some of the major forms of the representation of the body in the literature in the period 1800-1900. Through such major authors as Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe and Hermann Melville, the module will investigate how certain genres (romance and gothic, for example) construct certain versions of the body, how different sexual bodies are depicted and contested, and how male and female bodies are differentiated and politicised.

As well as being introduced to relevant literary content in the period you will also learn how to research and generate new literary content via contemporary research methods using on-line resources such as full-text databases (LION etc). As well as finding your own material (a poem on the female body, for example), you will learn how to contextualise it (investigating the author and genre, for example).

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EL6021 -

Shaking up Shakespeare (Optional,20 Credits)

This module develops your awareness and understanding of post-Renaissance adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It engages with Shakespearean adaptations belonging to different literary genres (in particular, drama and prose fiction) and different media (written texts, films). It examines the ways in which selected Shakespearean texts are transformed in subsequent adaptations, and the issues underpinning these transformations, especially those concerning race, gender, and class. It also engages with theoretical debates surrounding authorship, literary value, canonicity, and popular/high culture.

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EL6023 -

Entertaining Satan (Optional,20 Credits)

This module offers you an opportunity to look in depth at a range of literature and literary forms concerned with demonology, witchcraft and the representation of the devil and devil worship in poetry, prose and drama from c.1590-1678. It does so through the examination of key texts and themes in their historical context across a century of unprecedented political, social and cultural upheaval. Themes include religious fanaticism and fundamentalism, science, gender, social status and the beginnings of the English Enlightenment in its European context. All of these texts investigate and interrogate debates about the role of science and magic, moral authority and the nature of good and evil that apply to the tumultuous time in which they were written and that remain highly relevant today.

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EL6042 -

Postwar US Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will enhance your understanding of postwar American literary culture in its broader social, political, and
economic contexts. Mid-century America was a time of profound contradictions: while US citizens lived under the shadow the bomb, many experienced unprecedented economic prosperity and access to new material comforts. We will explore how national paranoia
about the spread of communism and the nuclear arms race sat alongside – and fed into – the postwar image of the American ‘good life’, an image of suburban conformity underpinned by the growth of advertising and consumer culture. We will consider how postwar fiction and poetry challenges this demand for conformity in both content and form: through its complex representations of the American cold war experience and its innovative narrative and poetic strategies. The texts on this module offer insights into postwar attitudes towards a diverse range of topics, including national and international politics, work, leisure, and domesticity, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

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EL6045 -

Political Theatre in Early Modern Britain (Optional,20 Credits)

People thought and wrote about politics a lot in the early modern period. Just like today, lives and livelihoods hinged upon the attitudes, loyalties and alliances of those in power – and the theatre was a convenient and accessible place to think about (and sometimes to poke fun at) political figureheads and their ideologies. Also, because men like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were, effectively, on the payroll of some of England’s wealthiest and most powerful men and women, their dramatic writings often carried distinct political agendas. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and James VI/I were passionate about literature, and London’s best playwrights and acting companies were employed during their lavish coronation processions – and invited to perform at court during annual festivities. Drama from this period was not only influenced by politics, moreover, it had influential political clout, in and of itself. The theatre explored, explained, critiqued, and shaped political attitudes and ideas – at every level of society.

Building on your reading of early modern authors at levels 4 and 5 in early modern literature, this module will challenge you to read a range of Tudor and Jacobean plays in relation to political change, scandal, and satire. You will develop a specialised understanding of the relationship between literature and politics, and a detailed knowledge of the early modern period’s tumultuous social and religious contexts.

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EL6047 -

Twenty First Century Literature: Writing in the Present (Optional,20 Credits)

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and its popular television adaptation (2017) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster (2015), this module invites you to explore a wide and diverse range of novels, short stories and other media in order to promote and analyse the study of contemporary theoretical debates on gender, love, the body and sexuality.

Through the theoretical lens of feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and postmodernism, the module aims to develop your critical thinking and your existing knowledge of literature, film and television, from 1985 to the present day. It will encourage you to explore the complex issues raised by diverse critical theory and close analysis of a range of late twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film and television adaptation. By doing so, you will reflect on the ways that twenty-first literature and other media engages with, interrogates and often offers alternative narratives on present debates about gender, love, the body and sexuality.

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EL6049 -

From Jane Austen to Austenland: Representing the Regency in Literature and Film (Optional,20 Credits)

The Regency (1810-1820) is condensed and complex period of contrasts; whilst precipitating significant and lasting changes in literature, art, theatre, fashion, and architecture, it was also a period that was beset by war, ruthless suppression of popular protest, sexual scandal, and the Regent himself was an object of contempt and ridicule. However, the Regency has come to be represented in popular culture as the lost and last age of romance and elegance, partly the result of enhanced connections being made between Austen and the heritage industries in modern adaptations. This module examines representations of the Regency in literature and film, beginning with the works of Jane Austen, all of which were published during this period.

We will begin with an introduction to the social, cultural and political issues of the period, and we will consider Austen as a writer of the Regency. We will move on to consider the significance of twentieth-century adaptations, imitations and appropriations of Austen and representations of the Regency in the works of historical novelists such as Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland, and more contemporary works such as Shannon Hale’s ‘Austenland’. We will also consider the proliferation of Austen and the Regency-based texts in the American market in relation to thinking about both as a form of heritage tourism and escapism. Overall, we will be exploring the impact of Austen upon popular culture, how popular culture fosters a reconsideration of Austen and how we engage with both in relation how we envision our cultural past.

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HI6006 -

The Black Panther Party (Optional,20 Credits)

The module examines the history and significance of the Black Panther Party (BPP), a radical protest group formed in Oakland, California in 1966. It locates the BPP within its intellectual, political, geographical, and social context, giving students the opportunity to engage with important texts that influenced the BPP while also considering the BPP’s contribution to ideas about political struggle. The module details the history of the BPP from formation until its decline into irrelevance in the late 1970s, spending considerable time focusing on key individuals such as Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, the FBI repression which resulted in the deaths of numerous BPP members, gender relations in the Party, and the BPP’s political and intellectual development. Students may start the module thinking that the BPP simply represented a violent response to African American oppression dominated by guns, leather jackets and Afro haircuts but they will end the module with a nuanced understanding of the profound contribution of the BPP to American history.

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HI6022 -

Joint Honours Dissertation (Core,40 Credits)

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to work on a sustained piece of research of your own (guided) choice and to present that research in an organised and coherent form in a major piece of writing. The module will teach you how to function as an independent researcher, learner and writer. The dissertation represents the culmination of your studies as a Joint Honours student. You will apply the skills developed in your earlier studies to a discrete body of primary sources, working upon a clearly defined topic. In designing and implementing your research project, you will draw on insights and approaches from both of the disciplines that from part of your degree. The dissertation will develop your research skills and allow you to work independently, drawing on the advice and guidance of a designated supervisor.

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HI6030 -

Law and Order USA: Police, Prisons, and Protest in Modern America (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will explore the history of ‘law and order’ politics (broadly defined) in the United States since 1900. You will learn about the creation of the law enforcement and judicial state at the federal, state, and local level (including, for instance, the establishment of the FBI and the rise of the carceral state), and the social movements that resisted and challenged that state. The module will cover such diverse topics as Prohibition, the Stonewall riot and the early LGBTQ movement, the prison reform and prisoners’ rights movements, the War on Drugs, anti-death penalty activism, and Black Lives Matter. This module will deal with fundamental questions of order and justice, how they have been contested in American society, and how they have intersected with issues of race, class, and gender.

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MI6005 -

Popular Music on Film and Television (Optional,20 Credits)

This module is concerned with popular music culture and its relationship to film, an area much neglected in academic film studies, television studies and popular music studies. As such, it seeks to address this absence by looking at a number of key junctures where popular music culture, the cinema and television inter-relate, exploring debates about gender representation, authorship, genre and music in performance, as well as how the films studied relate to context of their production and reception. The module, therefore, covers topics such as the following in a largely chronological fashion. An indicative syllabus is as follows:
1. Early moments: The significance of the early Elvis Films: King Creole
2. Punk rock on film: The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle
3. The revisionist musical: Von Trier, Lhurmann et al
4. Popular Music and national identity: The Commitments
5. Popular Music and ‘Race’ representation: 8 Mile
6. Gender play: Velvet Goldmine, In Bed with Madonna
7. The popular music / rock documentary
8. Dance and the male body: Saturday Night Fever
9. The concert film" from Wadleigh's Woodstock to Godard's One plus One.
10. Critical approaches to music video: Corbijn, Cunningham et al.
11. Nostalgia and the popular musical biopic: Control

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MI6007 -

Cult Film and Television (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn to understand how the term ‘cult’ has been applied to film and television programmes in different ways, and how the concept has developed across history. The module will enable you to critically examine the ways that cult has been theorised both in relation to films and television programmes, and some of the key differences between cult television and cult film. You will understand how cult can be applied to both films, the reception of films, as well as how it has increasingly infiltrated marketing discourses. Case studies on the module include midnight movies, authorship and cult, fandom, telefantasy, censorship and controversy, exploitation cinema and global cult cinema.

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Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AM4001 -

Introduction to American Studies (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers a practical and historical introduction to American Studies as a distinct, multifaceted, and evolving discipline, while also allowing you to acquire and practice key learning, research, and communication skills which will be of use throughout your university career and beyond. The module is content driven, with readings and themes drawn from across the entire range of American history, literature, politics, and popular culture, but particular emphasis will be placed on helping you to understand and master the basic tools and protocols of academic scholarship, thereby helping you to make the transition from school to university level work.
The skills which this module will help you to develop will include finding, reading and evaluating various kinds of primary and secondary sources; understanding the ways in which scholarship advances through constructive criticism and debate; correct referencing; finding an effective academic writing style; making oral presentations; and designing, researching and writing an independent research project.

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AM4002 -

Contemporary America (Core,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to key aspects of contemporary US culture, history, and politics. Chronologically the course focuses on the period from 1992 to the present; in disciplinary terms it embraces economics, film, history, international relations, literature, music, performance, politics, sexuality, and visual culture; thematically, the module emphasizes the importance of racial, ethnic, gender, class and religious identities, consumerism and globalization, domestic and international configurations of US political, social, economic, and cultural power, and the politics of cultural representation in the media and popular culture. Adopting a variegated, multi- and interdisciplinary approach, the module enable you to combine an enhanced empirical knowledge of the contemporary US to useful interpretive frameworks such as postmodernism, queer theory, and globalization theory. The module is organized around a mixture of broad thematic surveys (e.g. Major Trends in Contemporary US Literature) and narrower case studies (e.g. The Challenges of Post-9/11 Literature).

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EL4001 -

Introduction to Literary Studies (Core,20 Credits)

You will be given the opportunity to familiarise yourself with conceptual issues such as canonicity, the unconscious, the tragic, the nature of the author, gender and postmodernity. Lectures will introduce you to these concepts and modes of applying these to literary texts as well as introducing you to new material in the texts themselves. Seminars will follow the lectures, where you will discuss and explore with your tutor and with your fellow students both the texts and their historical and theoretical contexts.

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EL4003 -

Representing the US: From Slavery to Terrorism (Core,20 Credits)

This module focusses on US literature, film and television and it asks you to think about US culture at large; it will introduce you to a range of significant US texts from the nineteenth century to the present. You will make connections between diverse texts ranging from writings of slaves in the nineteenth century to fiction that responds to the trauma of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. You will enjoy US literature, film and television across a range of periods – work from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries will be covered – and you will examine fiction, poetry, drama, film, and television in relation to the idea of a national literary canon and in the context of social and political change, from the Civil War to the War on Terror. As a survey module, it encourages you to examine how key works engage with questions of identity, slavery, the American Dream, trauma, freedom, and national security.

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EL4006 -

Concepts in Criticism and Culture (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces you to key critical concepts in literary studies and asks how those concepts may be applied to the study of less canonical forms of writing and other media.

You will be introduced to theoretical and critical material, addressing key issues about literature and culture such as:
• how is the literary canon is constructed
• how might our gender, race or class background affect how we value and understand literature and popular culture

During the module you will be encouraged to evaluate the significance of debates about authorship, identity and literary value. You will be asked to read a range of key academic essays, discussing them in relation to a range of examples from popular culture as well as literature. You will be asked to think about the values attached to these different forms of cultural production. The module aims to foster your skills in close textual analysis, informed by key theoretical perspectives and independent reflective practice.

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EL4016 -

Talking Texts (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers students a forum to develop academic skills in close reading and analysis. A range of texts are examined within a reading-focussed workshop, including: the novel, short stories, poetry, plays, journalism, academic essays and online media such as blogs and flash fiction. Students are exposed to a range of writing in order to consider and develop their own reading practices. The discursive workshops develop speaking, listening, and critical skills through participation in classroom activities. The module prepares students for work at degree level, encouraging them to become independent learners in a supportive environment.

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AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional,40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

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AM5002 -

American Studies Extended Essay (Core,20 Credits)

The American Studies Extended Essay is designed as an opportunity for you to apply and build on the skills you have acquired in Level Four core modules and prepare yourself for the demands of the American Studies Dissertation in Level Six. It is an exercise in independent research and is intended to be a piece of work that utilises an interdisciplinary approach to a selection of primary and secondary sources. Extended Essay topics will be developed in conjunction with an appropriate subject specialist.

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AM5003 -

The American West (Core,20 Credits)

Ever watched a Western film? Heard about the American frontier? Wondered how westward expansion helped redefine the United States? This is the module for you. It focuses on the American West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, inviting you to consider its culture, history, politics, and society. Key themes include race, the Western movie genre, western literature, the frontier’s impact on the West and America in a wider sense, and the environment, all of which will be examined through different theoretical and methodological approaches.

Learning about the different ways in which we can see, understand and explain the West will provide you with a better range of tools to form your own understanding and explanation of what we can observe in the world today. For example, considering Western movies will encourage you to think afresh about American violence, civilization, and gender. Analysis of the frontier will develop your understanding of American progress, masculinity, and racism. Thinking about the western environment will prompt you to reassess the relationship between our natural environment and society.

At a theoretical level, this team-taught module will introduce you to the concept of ‘place’ within a framework informed by the multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches of American Studies. In this, it should challenge you to consider the way that History interacts with, for example, Film or Literature, and surprise you by encouraging you to rethink your prior assumptions about the American Experience. You’ll never think about America in the same way again, we promise.

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EL5003 -

Early Modern Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to read texts written in the period 1500-1700 historically. Lectures and seminars will encourage you to learn about the early modern period, and to situate texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More, and Philip Sidney. You will learn about poetry, prose, and drama – situating literary genres from the period in relation to themes that include: class, race, sexuality, politics, authority, gender, and ideas of literary production itself. Lectures will trace the afterlives of some of the most influential texts ever written, and will encourage you to read these textual traditions in light of a range of western literary ideologies.

Building upon work completed at Level 4 on early modern authors like Shakespeare and Donne, this module offers students a more comprehensive survey of the early modern period. Encouraging students to read literature historically, Early Modern Cultures fosters key skills in tutor-led and independent reading and research that will complement a range of studies at level 6.

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EL5004 -

Modernism and Modernity (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will gain an understanding of the relation between literary modernism and modernity in the early part of the twentieth century. The module provides you with conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the relation between art and social life. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the ways in which different literary genres prompted modernist experiments in form and with the various debates taking place between literary critics, writers, philosophers and cultural historians in early-twentieth-century Britain and the USA.

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EL5006 -

Poetry: Tradition and Experiment (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will focus on key moments in the development of poetic theory and practice, from the early modern period to the present day. In this module you will examine poems as sites at which tradition and experiment collide and intertwine. Through the close analysis of a small number of individual poems by ground-breaking poets, you will develop your understanding of the dynamic relationship between poetic form and content. In doing so, you will reflect upon and interrogate the complex ways in which poetic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about nation, class, race, and gender. You will consider how the evolution of poetry and poetics coalesces with questions of aesthetics and ideology.

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EL5010 -

Historical Fiction (Optional,20 Credits)

What is historical fiction? When and why did historical fiction begin to be written? How have later writers of historical fiction built on or surpassed early forms of historical fiction? What did or does historical fiction tell us about the world we live in? This module addresses these questions, with a survey of historical fiction from its origins in the 19th century to its varied forms in the 21st century. You will learn to contextualise each historical novel in relation to the conflicts and strains of the period in which it was made and consumed, while also thinking about the relations between writing, gender, religion, and politics, issues of literary influence, and the function of art in times of crisis, past and present.

Building on your work correlating the historical novel and short story at Level 4 (Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and ‘The Love of a Good Woman’ by Alice Munro), and prefiguring your extended writing work for the dissertation and on Level 6 modules, this module will develop your understanding of historical fiction as a literary genre. This will involve looking at its origins with Walter Scott’s 12th Century Medieval Romance and Folklore and then moving to the Tudors, the French Revolution, the Victorian Era and the Black British history after the Second World War. You will be examining close links between fictional re-imaginings of the past and issues surrounding changing national identities and popular memory. Finally you will be exploring the relationship between the historical novel and a range of other subgenres such as fantasy, social realism, postmodernism, romance, psychoanalysis, the Gothic, biography, spiritualism, detective fiction and postcolonialism.

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EL5026 -

Literary Revolutions, Eighteenth Century to Romanticism (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will study a range of texts from the eighteenth century to the Romantic period. The module considers a period in which literature and culture witnessed a succession of revolutionary changes. The novel emerged as a new form; female writers and readers took on a new prominence; the print market expanded enormously; and writers responded to the seismic changes in society caused by a period of war, imperial expansion, and political and social revolution. You will study a diverse and unusual range of texts that emerged from this period, and learn how to link the texts to the period’s context.

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HI5034 -

Setting America Right: Conservatism in the United States, 1933 - 2016 (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will explore the history of conservatism in the United States of America from the 1930s to the present day. Beginning with opposition to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, this module will trace the evolution of American conservatism through the era of Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and all the way up to the emergence of Donald Trump and the ‘alt-right’. At the heart of this module is a simple question: did the U.S. ‘turn right’ during the twentieth century? In answering that question, you will grapple with the fundamental issue of what it means to be a ‘conservative’ in America and how that label has been used and fought over in different eras and contexts.

You will learn about developments in high politics and at the grassroots, and gain an understanding of conservative movements both within and without the Republican Party. As well as learning about crucial events in recent U.S. political history (such as Barry Goldwater’s transformational 1964 presidential campaign), you will learn about the ways that conservatives revolutionised the nation’s political culture, pioneering innovative electoral techniques such as direct mail and constructing formidable conservative media outlets like Fox News. The module is organised in a broadly chronological way, but you will also explore key themes and movements that span decades, such as the religious right, anti-feminism, and ‘colour-blind’ conservatism.

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IR5010 -

Foreign Policy Analysis (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn about the most significant issues and challenges of our times in the domain of foreign policy. While grounded in IR theory, you will be introduced to foreign policy analysis (FPA)-specific frameworks and levels of analysis such as to systems of governance, decision making structures and models, leadership analysis, the role of the media, public opinion and special interest groups. Empirically, you will learn about the foreign policy of key actors in the international system towards a region or set of issues such as, for example, US and China foreign policy.

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MP5022 -

Cultural Identities on Screen (Optional,20 Credits)

The module will focus on the televisual representation and articulation of cultural identities in Britain and the US. We will look at how gender, ethnicity, national and regional identities are constructed through an examination of different genres and areas of screen media, such as drama, comedy and current affairs. We will explore issues such as class, gender and racial stereotypes, visibility of minority groups and integration. Throughout the course we will also consider the function of television, considering what its role might be in the construction of cultural identities.

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AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at a European University under the ERASMUS+ exchange scheme or at an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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AM6004 -

States of Nature: Environments and Peoples in the Americas (Core,20 Credits)

Focusing on North and South America, this module examines the interaction between humans and the environment throughout history. We will discuss the ways in which various peoples experienced their environment: how they attempted to change it, how they were limited by it, and how they thought about nature. In doing so, we will consider historical change at several levels:

1. Material and ecological: the physical changes that humans in the American have wrought over the past 10,000 years.

2. Social and political: the connection between peoples’ use of the environment and the way in which American societies developed.

3. Intellectual and ideological: how individuals and societies have understood nature at various points throughout history and how this understanding has shaped their actions.

You will find out about the relationship between humans and nature in the period before European expansion in the Americas and, following on from this, you will consider the ecological impact of European colonialism. The module content covers human activities such as farming and mining, but also the impact of floods, hurricanes and climate change. You will consider the spread of cities, the role of their hinterlands and the creation of national parks. In the final sections of the module, you will examine the manifold impacts of consumer culture (including waste and pollution) as well as the rise of environmentalist movements that were critical of humans’ ecological footprint.

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EL6004 -

Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Optional,20 Credits)

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) to Alan Ball’s True Blood (2008-), this module invites you to explore the dark, shadowy world of the Gothic in relation to a diverse range of literary texts and modern media. Combining the study of familiar canonical fictions with new and challenging material, we will train our focus on the enigmatic figure of the vampire, examining its various transitions and developments through the lens of critical and cultural theory.

Through an analysis of the Gothic, the module aims to develop your critical thinking, as well as your existing knowledge of literature, film, and television dating from 1816 to the present day. In doing so, it will encourage you to reflect on and interrogate the complex ways in which Gothic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about gender and sexuality.

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EL6009 -

Romanticism and Childhood (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will inform you about the transformations to the concept of childhood that occurred in the Romantic period (1760-1830). It will challenge you to analyse various celebrated representations of children and childhood in British Romantic literature. A new and distinctive attitude towards childhood was a core element of Romantic culture. Many British Romantic writers were invested in such issues as children’s education, imaginative fantasy literature, child-psychology, social injustices afflicting children, and religious questions of childhood innocence. This module will encourage you to develop an historical awareness of the changing culture of childhood in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. You will engage with the politics of education and children’s imaginative reading in the wake of the French Revolution (1789). Authors studied include William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and many more important writers of the period. This module encompasses a range of significant literature of the period, including poetry, prose, novels, and children’s literature.

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EL6017 -

History, Myth, Narrative: Prose Writing about the First World War (Optional,20 Credits)

You will explore a selection of key prose texts (novels and short stories) about the First World War that were written between 1914 and the present day. You will relate these novels and short stories to a range of influential critical ideas across literary studies and history. The module will help you to understand the close links between literary writing about the war and the way the war has been remembered in Britain at different points in time and will develop your research skills beyond your own discipline by allowing you to engage with scholarly concepts and sources in history, psychology and sociology. By reading a range of autobiographical and fictional prose texts, you will think about the value of literary texts as sources of cultural history, and you will investigate the changing historical contexts in which these texts have been produced, published and read. Themes and topics you will cover include the representation of soldiers, enemies and allies, class and gender in war writing, formal and publishing aspects and memory and remembrance.

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EL6018 -

The Black Atlantic: Literature, Slavery and Race (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to a range of texts which have been created out of, or about, the experience of African peoples in the diaspora from the seventeenth century to the present. It will encourage you to relate your understanding of the texts to the cultural and historical background from which they developed. Following on from level four core modules this module will develop your understanding of the concept of the ‘Atlantic World’ and theories of local, national and global cultures as well as theories of race and postcolonial theory. You will be encouraged to recognise the activity of the slave trade as the beginning point of the Atlantic World as an imagined space that challenges national and chronological boundaries and speaks of the powerful and enduring legacies of slavery.

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EL6019 -

Writing the Body 1800-1900 (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn that he body is a crucial, if often overlooked element in all literature, whether it be in terms of sexuality, gender, representations of glamorous diseases -such as consumption in the nineteenth century - or the final fate of the body, death. This module aims to introduce students to some of the major forms of the representation of the body in the literature in the period 1800-1900. Through such major authors as Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe and Hermann Melville, the module will investigate how certain genres (romance and gothic, for example) construct certain versions of the body, how different sexual bodies are depicted and contested, and how male and female bodies are differentiated and politicised.

As well as being introduced to relevant literary content in the period you will also learn how to research and generate new literary content via contemporary research methods using on-line resources such as full-text databases (LION etc). As well as finding your own material (a poem on the female body, for example), you will learn how to contextualise it (investigating the author and genre, for example).

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EL6021 -

Shaking up Shakespeare (Optional,20 Credits)

This module develops your awareness and understanding of post-Renaissance adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It engages with Shakespearean adaptations belonging to different literary genres (in particular, drama and prose fiction) and different media (written texts, films). It examines the ways in which selected Shakespearean texts are transformed in subsequent adaptations, and the issues underpinning these transformations, especially those concerning race, gender, and class. It also engages with theoretical debates surrounding authorship, literary value, canonicity, and popular/high culture.

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EL6023 -

Entertaining Satan (Optional,20 Credits)

This module offers you an opportunity to look in depth at a range of literature and literary forms concerned with demonology, witchcraft and the representation of the devil and devil worship in poetry, prose and drama from c.1590-1678. It does so through the examination of key texts and themes in their historical context across a century of unprecedented political, social and cultural upheaval. Themes include religious fanaticism and fundamentalism, science, gender, social status and the beginnings of the English Enlightenment in its European context. All of these texts investigate and interrogate debates about the role of science and magic, moral authority and the nature of good and evil that apply to the tumultuous time in which they were written and that remain highly relevant today.

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EL6042 -

Postwar US Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will enhance your understanding of postwar American literary culture in its broader social, political, and
economic contexts. Mid-century America was a time of profound contradictions: while US citizens lived under the shadow the bomb, many experienced unprecedented economic prosperity and access to new material comforts. We will explore how national paranoia
about the spread of communism and the nuclear arms race sat alongside – and fed into – the postwar image of the American ‘good life’, an image of suburban conformity underpinned by the growth of advertising and consumer culture. We will consider how postwar fiction and poetry challenges this demand for conformity in both content and form: through its complex representations of the American cold war experience and its innovative narrative and poetic strategies. The texts on this module offer insights into postwar attitudes towards a diverse range of topics, including national and international politics, work, leisure, and domesticity, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

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EL6045 -

Political Theatre in Early Modern Britain (Optional,20 Credits)

People thought and wrote about politics a lot in the early modern period. Just like today, lives and livelihoods hinged upon the attitudes, loyalties and alliances of those in power – and the theatre was a convenient and accessible place to think about (and sometimes to poke fun at) political figureheads and their ideologies. Also, because men like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were, effectively, on the payroll of some of England’s wealthiest and most powerful men and women, their dramatic writings often carried distinct political agendas. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and James VI/I were passionate about literature, and London’s best playwrights and acting companies were employed during their lavish coronation processions – and invited to perform at court during annual festivities. Drama from this period was not only influenced by politics, moreover, it had influential political clout, in and of itself. The theatre explored, explained, critiqued, and shaped political attitudes and ideas – at every level of society.

Building on your reading of early modern authors at levels 4 and 5 in early modern literature, this module will challenge you to read a range of Tudor and Jacobean plays in relation to political change, scandal, and satire. You will develop a specialised understanding of the relationship between literature and politics, and a detailed knowledge of the early modern period’s tumultuous social and religious contexts.

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EL6047 -

Twenty First Century Literature: Writing in the Present (Optional,20 Credits)

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and its popular television adaptation (2017) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster (2015), this module invites you to explore a wide and diverse range of novels, short stories and other media in order to promote and analyse the study of contemporary theoretical debates on gender, love, the body and sexuality.

Through the theoretical lens of feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and postmodernism, the module aims to develop your critical thinking and your existing knowledge of literature, film and television, from 1985 to the present day. It will encourage you to explore the complex issues raised by diverse critical theory and close analysis of a range of late twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film and television adaptation. By doing so, you will reflect on the ways that twenty-first literature and other media engages with, interrogates and often offers alternative narratives on present debates about gender, love, the body and sexuality.

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EL6049 -

From Jane Austen to Austenland: Representing the Regency in Literature and Film (Optional,20 Credits)

The Regency (1810-1820) is condensed and complex period of contrasts; whilst precipitating significant and lasting changes in literature, art, theatre, fashion, and architecture, it was also a period that was beset by war, ruthless suppression of popular protest, sexual scandal, and the Regent himself was an object of contempt and ridicule. However, the Regency has come to be represented in popular culture as the lost and last age of romance and elegance, partly the result of enhanced connections being made between Austen and the heritage industries in modern adaptations. This module examines representations of the Regency in literature and film, beginning with the works of Jane Austen, all of which were published during this period.

We will begin with an introduction to the social, cultural and political issues of the period, and we will consider Austen as a writer of the Regency. We will move on to consider the significance of twentieth-century adaptations, imitations and appropriations of Austen and representations of the Regency in the works of historical novelists such as Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland, and more contemporary works such as Shannon Hale’s ‘Austenland’. We will also consider the proliferation of Austen and the Regency-based texts in the American market in relation to thinking about both as a form of heritage tourism and escapism. Overall, we will be exploring the impact of Austen upon popular culture, how popular culture fosters a reconsideration of Austen and how we engage with both in relation how we envision our cultural past.

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HI6006 -

The Black Panther Party (Optional,20 Credits)

The module examines the history and significance of the Black Panther Party (BPP), a radical protest group formed in Oakland, California in 1966. It locates the BPP within its intellectual, political, geographical, and social context, giving students the opportunity to engage with important texts that influenced the BPP while also considering the BPP’s contribution to ideas about political struggle. The module details the history of the BPP from formation until its decline into irrelevance in the late 1970s, spending considerable time focusing on key individuals such as Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, the FBI repression which resulted in the deaths of numerous BPP members, gender relations in the Party, and the BPP’s political and intellectual development. Students may start the module thinking that the BPP simply represented a violent response to African American oppression dominated by guns, leather jackets and Afro haircuts but they will end the module with a nuanced understanding of the profound contribution of the BPP to American history.

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HI6022 -

Joint Honours Dissertation (Core,40 Credits)

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to work on a sustained piece of research of your own (guided) choice and to present that research in an organised and coherent form in a major piece of writing. The module will teach you how to function as an independent researcher, learner and writer. The dissertation represents the culmination of your studies as a Joint Honours student. You will apply the skills developed in your earlier studies to a discrete body of primary sources, working upon a clearly defined topic. In designing and implementing your research project, you will draw on insights and approaches from both of the disciplines that from part of your degree. The dissertation will develop your research skills and allow you to work independently, drawing on the advice and guidance of a designated supervisor.

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HI6030 -

Law and Order USA: Police, Prisons, and Protest in Modern America (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will explore the history of ‘law and order’ politics (broadly defined) in the United States since 1900. You will learn about the creation of the law enforcement and judicial state at the federal, state, and local level (including, for instance, the establishment of the FBI and the rise of the carceral state), and the social movements that resisted and challenged that state. The module will cover such diverse topics as Prohibition, the Stonewall riot and the early LGBTQ movement, the prison reform and prisoners’ rights movements, the War on Drugs, anti-death penalty activism, and Black Lives Matter. This module will deal with fundamental questions of order and justice, how they have been contested in American society, and how they have intersected with issues of race, class, and gender.

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MI6005 -

Popular Music on Film and Television (Optional,20 Credits)

This module is concerned with popular music culture and its relationship to film, an area much neglected in academic film studies, television studies and popular music studies. As such, it seeks to address this absence by looking at a number of key junctures where popular music culture, the cinema and television inter-relate, exploring debates about gender representation, authorship, genre and music in performance, as well as how the films studied relate to context of their production and reception. The module, therefore, covers topics such as the following in a largely chronological fashion. An indicative syllabus is as follows:
1. Early moments: The significance of the early Elvis Films: King Creole
2. Punk rock on film: The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle
3. The revisionist musical: Von Trier, Lhurmann et al
4. Popular Music and national identity: The Commitments
5. Popular Music and ‘Race’ representation: 8 Mile
6. Gender play: Velvet Goldmine, In Bed with Madonna
7. The popular music / rock documentary
8. Dance and the male body: Saturday Night Fever
9. The concert film" from Wadleigh's Woodstock to Godard's One plus One.
10. Critical approaches to music video: Corbijn, Cunningham et al.
11. Nostalgia and the popular musical biopic: Control

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MI6007 -

Cult Film and Television (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn to understand how the term ‘cult’ has been applied to film and television programmes in different ways, and how the concept has developed across history. The module will enable you to critically examine the ways that cult has been theorised both in relation to films and television programmes, and some of the key differences between cult television and cult film. You will understand how cult can be applied to both films, the reception of films, as well as how it has increasingly infiltrated marketing discourses. Case studies on the module include midnight movies, authorship and cult, fandom, telefantasy, censorship and controversy, exploitation cinema and global cult cinema.

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English Literature and American Studies BA (Hons)

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Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

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