Literature in the City
King's College London
Area of Study
British Studies, English, Literature
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4.5 - 6
Hours & Credits
OverviewModule descriptionCities are brought to life as much by their literature as by their bricks and mortar. James Joyce famously claimed that were Dublin to be destroyed it could be rebuilt from his writing, while, for Elizabeth Bowen, the magic of London resided in its inability to be known unless imagined. This module investigates the literary representation of both London and Dublin in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ? a period of rapid social change, political turbulence and economic uncertainty.Beginning with an overview of urban modernisation, we will study the complex ways in which literature has helped shape the development of these cities. Focusing on the works of Charles Dickens, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Joyce and Bowen, we will explore cities of wealth and revolution, capitalism and poverty. Students will be encouraged to use a combination of cultural and critical theories to inform their class discussions, short assignments, and exercises in urban exploration. Visits to museums and sites of interest will be an important element of this course, giving us an insight into the lives of individual residents and the character of cities as a whole. Through a comparative analysis of London and Dublin, this module will examine how an urban experience has inspired five of the most significant writers in the English language.This interdisciplinary module is open to all students, and is particularly suited to those working in the fields of language, literature, urban studies, cultural studies, history, geography, English and Irish studies, as well as other related disciplines. The module assumes no prior knowledge of London or Dublin's history or culture, though students will be expected to engage with these contexts as the module progresses.Teaching patternInteractive LecturesSeminars and TutorialsInteractive WorkshopsLondon walks and visits to key institutionsPrivate StudyModule assessmentOne essay of 3000 words (85%)Oral Presentation (15%)
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