EL5004 - Modernism and Modernity

What will I learn on this module?

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.

How will I learn on this module?

This is a year-long module taught through a combination of 1.5h seminars and interactive lectures. Seminars and lectures will be complemented by essay planning tutorials in both semesters, and a film screening in semester 2. These sessions will give you a thorough, in-depth introduction to a range of modernist texts, as well as the opportunity to discuss the texts and key ideas with your tutor and other students.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your week-on-week learning will be supported by slides made available via the e-learning portal and handouts with study questions provided by your tutors in advance to help you prepare each week’s seminar. You will be strongly encouraged to see your tutor in their weekly consultation and feedback hours as often as you feel will benefit your work. A formative close textual analysis exercise (semester 1) and a formative essay plan and accompanying bibliography (semester 2) will help you to prepare for the 1500-word close textual analysis assignment (semester 1) and 2000-word essay (semester 2). Feedback you will receive on formative and summative work is detailed and emphasises both existing strengths of your writing and room for further improvement. In addition, you can take advantage of a wide range of research and essay writing skills resources, including face-to-face sessions, offered by the library as part of their Skills Plus programme.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Knowledge of key modernist texts.
2. Understanding of the relationship between modernism and its social contexts.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Ability to critically analyse different literary genres and styles.
2. Enhanced ability to select relevant primary and secondary materials and to deploy this evidence.
3. Analytical and interpretative skills in presenting an argued case in written form.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):


How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment for this module is 1 x 1500-word close textual analysis exercise and 1 x 2000-word essay. These assignments will measure the breadth of your knowledge and assess all learning outcomes for this module by testing your knowledge of key modernist texts, your understanding of the relationship between modernism and its social contexts and subject-specific professional skills (critical analysis, selection of appropriate texts and supporting materials for your exam responses, analytical and interpretative skills). This assessment addresses KU 1 & 2 and IPSA 1, 2 & 3.

You will have the opportunity to practice these skills in two pieces of formative assessment (a Close Textual Analysis exercise in semester 1 and an Essay Plan and Bibliography in semester 2). The former will undergo peer review in class in order to encourage you to reflect on your own and other students’ responses to textual extracts and to improve your skills in critical analysis. Your tutor will provide you with personalised feedback on your essay plan and bibliography in semester 2.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided

Course info

UCAS Code Q320

Credits 20

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 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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