EL5006 - Poetry: Tradition and Experiment

What will I learn on this module?

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.

How will I learn on this module?

1 x 1-hour weekly lecture
1 x 2-hour weekly seminar

You will be taught this module via a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the set texts and theoretical and critical concepts relevant to analysing literary adaptations. Seminars will give you the opportunity to present your own interpretations and analyses to the group, to engage with the perspectives of others, and to discuss your ideas in detail with other students and the module tutors.
In addition to learning during contact hours, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning will take the form of preparation for seminars (including reading, watching films, and the preparation of critical responses to the studied topics) either individually or in small groups. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and research, the consolidation of seminar materials and the completion of the assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will engage with primary, secondary, theoretical, and contextual materials through lectures, seminars, and independent learning tasks. These will allow you to attain the module learning outcomes and develop your understanding of tradition and experiment in the evolution of poetry and poetics. The module handbook provides details of lectures, seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria. Lecture PowerPoint slides are made available on the e-learning portal. The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in office hours and on email/phone, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Moreover, feedback on formative work and the first summative assessment will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes:
• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)
You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. The Guidance Booklet, which you receive at the start of your first year, includes structured materials designed to help you develop your self-reflection skills. These materials underpin the academic side of the regular Guidance meetings, helping you to learn how to best use the feedback you receive on your assignments, how to build on your strengths, and improve in the areas where you could perform better.

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. Understanding of theories of tradition and experiment in poetry.
2. Relating poetic form to questions of ideology, race, gender, class and sexuality.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Enhanced critical reading and writing skills.
4. Independent learning and research.

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

How will I be assessed?

a. Formative assessment: 1x 500-word Essay Plan and Bibliography

Students will submit an essay plan and bibliography in preparation for the 4000-word essay. This task is designed to assist students in their development of key skills in literary analysis, research methods, and essay writing. Written feedback will encourage students to reflect on their strengths and advise them about areas for improvement in advance of the summative assessment. This written feedback will be supplemented by a one-to-one tutorial in which students can discuss their plans more fully and ask any questions they might have about the assignment. This addresses IPSA 4.

b. Summative assessment: 1x 4000-word essay (100%)

Students will conduct a comparative analysis of three primary texts in light of a range of theoretical approaches and socio-political backgrounds. The focus on three primary texts will ensure coverage and give students an opportunity to explore the development of the genre of poetry over time and the various ways in which it has been used by different writers. The length of the essay, as well as its focus on multiple primary texts, will also help prepare students at the end of Level 5 for the dissertation in Level 6.

Feedback on summative work will be delivered on standard feedback forms used across the English subject group. Feedback will encourage and facilitate reflective learning. This addresses
KU 1 & 2, IPSA 3 & 4 and PVA 5.





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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