English Literature Modules

The programmes in English Literature include a wide diversity of modules. The foundational module offers a general introduction and the modules at level 2000 focus on reading. Some higher level modules cover historical periods of British literature and others look at American literature and literature from regions like South Asia and Southeast Asia. Others still take a generic or topic approach, with subjects such as film, visual media, critical theory, gender and psychoanalysis.

The range of approaches within modules is also wide. Different modules might emphasise aesthetic, historical, political or theoretical readings. Students are encouraged to check module descriptions on the IVLE or talk to module chairs, if they are uncertain.

Unless otherwise stated, all level 1000–3000 modules carry 4 modular credits (MCs), while all level 4000 modules carry 5 MCs (except EN4401 which carries 15 MCs).

Modules offered in AY2018/2019 Semester 1

Tania ROY and Susan ANG

Human beings are ‘tale-telling animals'. We all tell stories, and we all listen to them, read them and watch them. This module looks at the ways in which people tell stories, the kinds of stories they tell, and the meanings those stories generate. It focuses, in particular, upon the telling, and gives special attention to questions concerned with that. Texts include a novel, a play, films, short stories, poems and oral tales.

Pre-requisite: Exempted from NUS Qualifying English Test, or passed NUS Qualifying English Test, or exempted from further CELC Remedial English modules.
Preclusion: GEK1000
Cross-listing: GEK1000

Kevin MORRISON and Gurpreet KAUR

This module introduces students to literary representations of gender and sexuality in poetry, fiction, nonfiction prose, and drama, and to theories of gender and sexuality. It considers the influence of gender and sexual identity on literature, and the influence of literature on the construction of gender and sexual identities. Students will be introduced to key terms and concepts relevant to the analysis of literature in its cultural and historical context. Topics to be addressed may include first-, second-, and third-wave feminism, postcolonial feminisms, the history of sexuality, queer and transgender theory, and the intersection of gender, sexuality, and racial identity.

Pre-requisite: EN1101E or GEK1000

Lucas HO

This module seeks to introduce the techniques and genres of contemporary playwriting in order to equip students with the skills and resources needed to write for the stage. Students’ weekly writing exercises will be critiqued by their peers and will culminate in the writing (and rewriting) of their own one-act plays. Students will also analyse one or more contemporary plays each week from a practitioner’s perspective. Techniques discussed will include creating characters, dialogue, and theatrical action. Genres examined will include the historical play, the political play, the farce, the play of ideas, and the comedy of manners.

Pre-requisite: EL1101E or EN1101E or TS1101E or GEK1011 or GEK1000 or GEM1003. This module is selective, and enrolment is by application.

Kevin MORRISON

The module will cover selected poetic and prose writings from the Victorian period, an age that witnessed the nineteenth century's most historically important developments. Students will be directed to study literary and other cultural works with the historical context in mind.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000.
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

Gilbert YEOH

Drawing from all three genres of fiction, drama and poetry, this module presents a survey of the literature of Britain in the 20th-century. We explore the writing of this century through two of its most important literary paradigms, namely the literary modernism of the early decades and the postmodern era following WWII. Students will encounter a century characterised by extensive aesthetic innovation, active political engagement and the acute registering of social change. Subjects covered include modernism, postmodernism and issues of art, language and representation. Writers we study include T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Harold Pinter, Jeanette Winterson and Virginia Woolf.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

Tania ROY

Since its articulation at the turn of the twentieth century, psychoanalysis has claimed a privileged relation to literature. Many of its foundational concepts sprang from Freud’s life-long engagement with literature. The ‘application’ of psychoanalytic concepts to the interpretation of literary works will therefore be an important part of our approach. In applying theory to texts, we will identify and explore the plural and contradictory desires that make up literary discourse in particular, and the production of meaning, generally, just as our selections of literary works will help to exemplify key concepts in the psychoanalytic tradition.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

Susan ANG

The module examines the appeal of s/f as a serious fictional engagement with our consensual sense of reality. It addresses fantasy, speculative fiction, and science fiction as forms of narrative engaged in “world-building” and “word-shaping,” studying such fictional constructs as forms of sociological and anthropological knowledge. It also examines the relation between the “strange” and the “real” in terms of the shared and the antithetical elements that relate s/f to realism.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

Chitra SANKARAN

The module aims to introduce students to central concepts in feminism, and apply these to the analysis of literary texts, to arrive at an understanding of gender dichotomies that influence the writing and reading of texts. A range of feminist texts, from Virginia Woolf, Simone De Beauvoir, Kate Millett etc., to contemporary feminist critics, will be explored. These theoretical concepts will be used to analyse texts from different genres including short stories, plays, novels, visual texts etc. Students will be expected to engage with feminism as both an ideology and a literary tool of analysis.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000, or a minimum of 12 MCs of EL modules.
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, or (ii) a minimum of 12 MCs of EL modules, AND (iii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

Valerie WEE

Genre consideration is important to film studies. It enables us to assess the ways in which a director works with or deviates from conventional audience expectations, to consider how a particular film is distinctive from other films whose generic features it reiterates, etc. This module focuses on the “horror genre” to introduce students to the significance of genre analysis in film studies. Invoking this specific genre, students analyze (a) the relationship between film and popular culture; (b) academic debates around the production, meaning, experience, and consumption of “texts”; and (c) film’s commentary on issues of identity, ideology, gender, and sexuality.

Pre-requisite: EN2203
Preclusion: EN2204

David TEH

This module examines the poetics of information in post‐industrial society. At its core lies the oeuvre of Thomas Pynchon, whose novels will be read as a critical meta‐narrative of the informational turn in Western society since the 1960s. Besides obvious technological effects and the accelerated exchange it enables, how has the new, informational paradigm affected our psychology, everyday life and work; our understandings of place and community, of history and culture? Rather than placing Pynchon within a literary canon, seminars will be thematic studies, drawing on a wide range of critical theory, cultural history, and critiques of globalisation and technology.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

John PHILLIPS

This module trains students in the reading and analysis of influential texts in critical theory, as the basis for examining the production and historical grounds of textual meaning. This survey course provides a comprehensive understanding of major critical theories of the twentieth century: post-structuralism and discourse-analysis, psychoanalysis, twentieth-century Marxism, and post-colonial studies. Close readings of Foucault, Lacan and Adorno in particular, will equip students to engage in wide-ranging and sometimes complex debates about critical approaches to the study of cultural meaning, its production and interpretation. The module targets students with interests in critical questions.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Anne Thell

This module focuses on the work of one of most celebrated Anglo-Irish writers of the eighteenth century: Jonathan Swift. By tracking Swift’s dazzling literary output from 1690 to 1740, we will bring into better focus both the eighteenth century as a historical period and the ideas of historicity and modernity themselves. We will investigate a variety of literary modes, from satire to pamphlet polemics to the early novel, while we will also learn about the development of our own discipline by tracing Swift criticism from its inception to the present day and by entertaining a variety of critical perspectives.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

John PHILLIPS

As part of the preparation for writing research papers or Honours Theses, this module aims to help students understand the interpretative strategies, modes of argumentation, criteria for evaluating claims, analyses and theories, as well as expectations and conventions governing research in diverse areas of literary studies. The major topics will include research areas and questions; research claims; interpretative methods; evidence and argumentation; critical evaluation of academic argument; and rhetorical conventions and strategies.

Pre-requisite:
For EN and TS students - Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN or 28 MCs in TS, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.
For EU students - Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EL, EN or TS modules, or a combination from the three (Literary and/or linguistic modules from other departments may also contribute towards the 28 MCs total at the module chair's discretion), with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.
Preclusion: EL4200

Modular credits: 15      

The Honours Thesis is usually done in the final semester of a student’s pursuing an Honours degree.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2012 and before: Completed 110 MCs, including 60 MCs of EN major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.50.
Cohort 2013-2015: Completed 110 MCs including 60 MCs of EN major requirements with a minimum SJAP of 4.00 and CAP of 3.50, or with recommendation by the programme committee. Students may seek a waiver of the SJAP pre-requisite from the department if they have a minimum CAP of 4.25 after completing 110 MCs.
Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 110 MCs including 44 MCs of EN major requirements with a minimum SJAP of 4.00 and CAP of 3.50, or with recommendation by the programme committee. Students may seek a waiver of the SJAP pre-requisite from the department if they have a minimum CAP of 4.25 after completing 110 MCs

Preclusion: EN4660

Note: Please register EN4401 manually with the Department.
Documents containing important information on EN4401 should be downloaded from “Documents and Forms.”

The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic within the discipline in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The Head’s and/or Honours Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

Prerequisite:
Cohort 2012-2015: Completed 100 MCs, including 60 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20.
Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 100 MCs, including 44 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20.

Preclusion: EN4401

Note: Please register EN4660 manually with the Department.
Documents containing important information on EN4660 should be downloaded from “Documents and Forms.”

Walter LIM

This module explores the twinned ideas of usurpation and transgression in English Renaissance literature, analyzing the attempt to cross boundaries that define the norm in the polity and in moral, religious, and sexual spheres. We will look at how hierarchies established by religion, government, and custom seek to maintain and to justify the status quo. We will ask how literary texts register awareness of, and enter into dialogue with, these hierarchies. Different genres such as the play, the love lyric, the devotional lyric, and the epic will be invoked for our analysis of the cultural preoccupation with usurpation and transgression.

Prerequisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Gilbert YEOH

This module explores 20th‐century British and American literary production, with a focus on the first half of the century. It will examine the writings of key modernist authors of the early decades (such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce and Virginia Woolf) even as it will also survey other literary and artistic activities in this period. The latter may include the avant‐garde movements (such as Dadaism and Surrealism), the Harlem Renaissance, and cinema. Besides the above writers, others to be studied may include Andre Breton, Samuel Beckett, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens.

Chitra SANKARAN

The objectives of this course are to invite students to reflect on and analyse texts by great women novelists. Topics covered include the choice of genre, the relation between narrative structure and psychological experience and their political implications, the nature of the dilemmas at the heart of each text, and the problems of defining and responding to what is specific to women’s writing. For MA-level students with an interest in women’s writing.

Walter LIM

This module approaches Shakespeare’s plays by considering not only genre and theme, but also their relationship to the development of literary history, including critical theory. The Shakespearean corpus has led to a multitude of critical possibilities, such that the text has lent support for materialism or deconstruction, for patriarchy or feminism, for the secure clichés of the so-called Elizabethan world picture or for their subversion and dissolution. Given the open-endedness of these critical possibilities, what does engaging with Shakespeare reveal about the relationship between text and context, between literary production and particular historical conditions, and the very making of meaning itself?

Independent research plays an important role in graduate education. The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic in English Literature in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The Head’s and/or Graduate Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

Note: (1) Word limit: 5,000 – 6,000 words. (2) Workload: Minimum 10 hours per week. The precise breakdown of contact hours, assignment and preparation is to be worked out between the lecturer and the student, subject to Departmental approval.

Independent research plays an important role in graduate education. The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic in English Literature in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The Head’s and/or Graduate Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

Note: (1) Word limit: 7,000 – 8,000 words. (2) Workload: Minimum 10 hours per week. The precise breakdown of contact hours, assignment and preparation is to be worked out between the lecturer and the student, subject to Departmental approval.

Modules offered in AY2018/2019 Semester 2

Gilbert YEOH

Human beings are 'tale-telling animals'. We all tell stories, and we all listen to them, read them and watch them. This module looks at the ways in which people tell stories, the kinds of stories they tell, and the meanings those stories generate. It focuses, in particular, upon the telling, and gives special attention to questions concerned with that. Texts include a novel, a play, films, short stories, poems and oral tales.

Pre-requisite: Exempted from NUS Qualifying English Test, or passed NUS Qualifying English Test, or exempted from further CELC Remedial English modules.
Preclusion: GEK1000
Cross-listing: GEK1000

Gilbert YEOH

The Greek and Roman classics and the Bible are recognised as having exerted profound influence on the development of Western literature, art and culture. Familiarity with the classical and Judeo-Christian traditions helps tremendously in enabling appreciation of this literature, art and culture. This module introduces students to important works from these two traditions such as Homer’s Odyssey, Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Poetics, Virgil’s Aeneid and the Bible. Through close readings, students become acquainted with the worldview, ideas and key motifs in these works. Attention will also be on how these texts have influenced the development of the Western literary tradition.

Pre-requisite: EN1101E or GEK1000

Irving GOH

Critical reading is the essential skill of literary studies. It involves close attention to individual words and phrases, to figures of speech, to the structures of sentences and texts, to literary form and genre, and to historical context. It gives attention to the implicit connotations of language, as well as to its explicit denotations. This module sets out to inculcate in students the skills of critical reading and help them pay attention to and evaluate textual detail. It will be organised as a series of seminars in which students develop and practice skills by reading short texts and extracts.

Pre-requisite: (1) EN1101E or GEK1000, and (2) EN majors
Preclusion: EN3274

Valerie WEE

This module introduces the critical terms and methods required for reading and writing about films, performances, advertising, and other related cultural texts. It seeks to develop skills in the close reading of such texts, and in writing considered critical responses to them.

Pre-requisite: Nil
Preclusion: AS2213, EN2111, EN2112, EN2113

John PHILLIPS

The module offers an introduction to the study of literature in an age where the increasing importance of film, television, and the internet has led to far-reaching changes in humanities disciplines and a broadening of the field of literary studies. Students will study critical texts in literary and media theory, which will give them the means to develop informed and critical readings in literature, media, and culture. The module in this way also provides an introduction to contemporary critical theory. Each week, students will study chapters introducing them to a given critical discourse (e.g., Psychoanalysis) and its application.

Pre-requisite: EN1101E or GEK1000

Walter LIM

This module offers an introductory survey of the period referred to as “the English Renaissance” (in traditional usage) and as “early modern English literature” (in more recent usage). It considers the distinctive features of this period by looking at the different genres and literary forms in currency at the time: tragedy, comedy, love lyric, devotional lyric, epic, etc. These genres and forms are then read in relation to their significance for Renaissance/early modern England’s original readership and audience. This is a period of intense conflict, and that conflict is far from over, being still reassessed and played out between differing critical positions.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

Anne THELL

This module looks at the emergence of the novel, at its experiments with form, and at its characteristic modes of representation. It concentrates, in particular, on such matters as the restrictions and opportunities of the genre: on the practicalities of sustaining a long fiction in prose; how different writers meet the various challenges of plot, episode, characterisation and style; and on the emergence of a distinct sense of the individual.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

John RICHARDSON

This module will look at Romanticism in English and European literature. The texts and supplementary readings provide the student with an introduction to the socio-historical background of the Romantic period and to some of the tropes and ideas central to Romanticism; for example, feeling, liberty, the inner life, the overreacher, revolution, the relationship to the past, the relationship between the city and the country, etc. To complement the texts being taught, the contributions of the other arts (painting, music), will also be discussed.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

John WHALEN-BRIDGE

This module examines selected texts of nineteenth-century American writing through Reconstruction; it examines typical aspects of American character/ imagination, and it trains students to read literary texts closely and to express their understanding of texts both in class discussion and in writing. The module is aimed at undergraduate English majors, but cross-faculty students who enjoy literature are welcome.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000.
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, AND (ii) at least one of the following modules (EN2201, EN2202, EN2203, EN2204, EN2205, EN2207)

-

Using selected Singapore texts from a variety of different genres, this module aims to enable students to explore the historical roots and contemporary relevance of literary production in Singapore. Beginning with colonial writing, the module moves through considerations of national and postcolonial literatures to contemporary concerns. Given Singapore’s history, the notion of a “Singapore” text will be used creatively in order to reflect upon the growth of Singaporean identity and culture, and literary texts from other countries in the region may be used for comparative purposes.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2011 and before: EN1101E or GEK1000, or GCE ‘A’ Level Literature or equivalent.
Cohort 2012 onwards: (i) EN1101E or GEK1000, or GCE ‘A’ Level Literature or equivalent, AND (ii) EN2201 or EN2202 or EN2203 or EN2204 or EN2205 or EN2207

-

In this module students will write (and rewrite!) two full length plays of no less than 60 minutes in length. These will be critiqued intensively by their classmates and by the instructor. Students are at liberty to pick their own topics and genres. Specific historical or critical readings and dramatic texts will be assigned based on individual students interests (e.g., musical theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed). This is a demanding creative writing module requiring self-direction and artistic independence.

Pre-requisite: EN2271 or approval of instructor
Preclusion: TS4212

Susan ANG

This module focuses on the “nouveau roman”, a term applied to a sub-genre of twentieth-century fiction, which consciously and self-consciously interrogates, problematises and plays with traditional conventions and premises of the novel. These include characterisation, plot, chronology, narrative authority, author-reader reciprocity and language as agent of meaning and communication.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Robbie GOH

Students will read Indian Anglophone literary texts in the context of global capitalism and transnational movements and flows. It examines the construction of imaginary homelands, the cultural politics of that homeland and its (re)negotiation in the larger world, the politics of gender, sexuality and the body, and religious and other cultural identities. The trope of “(dis)possessions” provides theoretical leverage into and focus on material influences, the trope of the hauntings of cultural memory, the perceived “contaminations” of culture, disciplines of the body, and related themes.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Susan ANG

This module will look at the work of modern poets (Modernism and after) focusing mainly on their poetry, but, where relevant, on their critical essays and work in other genres (e.g. drama) which adds to an understanding of their poetic work. The major topics covered will include: the modern condition, the relation to history and myth, modern poetics, the urban and natural worlds and war. Other topics may be considered, depending on the selection of poets in any particular academic year.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Tania ROY

The new millennium has witnessed a return to realism in literature, criticism, and popular culture. Our taste for realism extends from the television reality-show, dramas like The Wire, to novels that seek to describe the impact of world markets on lived reality by mapping this system onto the traditional realist narrative. These developments suggest that canonical modernisms of the early twentieth-century prescribed, and so constrained, critical approaches to literatures of the postcolony. Focusing on the resurgent value of postcolonial realism for our current globalist conjuncture, the module entertains theoretical exchanges between World Literature, Postcolonial Studies, and the Frankfurt School’s Marxism.

Pre-requisite:
Completed 80 MCs including 28 MCs in EN or 28 MCs in GL/GL recognised non-language modules, with a minimum CAP of 3.20 or be on the Honours track.

Modular credits: 15      

The Honours Thesis is usually done in the final semester of a student’s pursuing an Honours degree.

Pre-requisite:
Cohort 2012 and before: Completed 110 MCs, including 60 MCs of EN major requirements with a minimum CAP of 3.50.
Cohort 2013-2015: Completed 110 MCs including 60 MCs of EN major requirements with a minimum SJAP of 4.00 and CAP of 3.50, or with recommendation by the programme committee. Students may seek a waiver of the SJAP pre-requisite from the department if they have a minimum CAP of 4.25 after completing 110 MCs.
Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 110 MCs including 44 MCs of EN major requirements with a minimum SJAP of 4.00 and CAP of 3.50, or with recommendation by the programme committee. Students may seek a waiver of the SJAP pre-requisite from the department if they have a minimum CAP of 4.25 after completing 110 MCs.

Preclusion: EN4660

Note: Please register EN4401 manually with the Department.
Documents containing important information on EN4401 should be downloaded from “Documents and Forms.”

The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic within the discipline in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The Head’s and/or Honours Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

Prerequisite:
Cohort 2012-2015: Completed 100 MCs, including 60 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20.
Cohort 2016 onwards: Completed 100 MCs, including 44 MCs in EN, with a minimum CAP of 3.20.

Preclusion: EN4401

Note: Please register EN4660 manually with the Department.
Documents containing important information on EN4660 should be downloaded from “Documents and Forms.”

Anne THELL

From early modern England up into the eighteenth century, English literature registers distinctively a deep fascination with worlds both old and new: Egypt, Africa, China, and India are some examples. In reading critically how different authors in this historical timeline represent old and new worlds in their literary production, this module seeks to analyse the formation of cultural perceptions relating to such topics as
(i) the emergence of a colonial and imperial consciousness;
(ii) the apprehension of cultural difference;
(iii) the crystallisation of national identity.
It offers opportunity for considering the engagements of literature with certain momentous social, historical, and political realities, such as the slave trade and the activities of the British East India Company.

Tania ROY

The module addresses issues of historical trauma and cultural memory; through a focus on how such memory is manifested in aesthetic (primarily literary) representation. The module assumes a dual approach to the study of selected texts, requiring attention to the topic of violence and memory on the one hand; and the ethics and politics of representation on the other. Literary texts will illuminate problems of narrative agency, responsibility and testimony in the aftermath of a violent past. The conceptual framework of discussions derives from Maurice Blanchot and his influence on post-structuralism, and from contemporary uses of psychoanalysis by literary theorists.

Irving GOH

Motivated by the prevalent political, institutional, and economic failings that seem to plague our present century, best captured perhaps by the millennial-speak “epic fail,” this course proposes to critically think about failure as a concept. We will explore what is specific to contemporary failure, as compared to twentieth century failure. We will also seek to elucidate failure in all its dimensions, which would require us to articulate without prejudice all the affective states that accompany it. Readings will include literary texts by Beckett, Blanchot, Coetzee, Barnes, Carson, and DeLillo, alongside theoretical ones (French thought, contemporary feminist theory, and affect theory).

Independent research plays an important role in graduate education. The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic in English Literature in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The Head’s and/or Graduate Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

Note: (1) Word limit: 5,000 – 6,000 words. (2) Workload: Minimum 10 hours per week. The precise breakdown of contact hours, assignment and preparation is to be worked out between the lecturer and the student, subject to Departmental approval.

David TEH

This interdisciplinary module will acquaint students with various theoretical approaches to the moving image, and equip them to write critically about contemporary screen cultures of Southeast Asia. Readings will be from media theory, art history and critical theory, as much as film studies. The module encourages students to think beyond the conventions of cinema studies (national cinema, genre, etc.), the rationale being that as screen culture spreads beyond industrial cinema, so too should theory and criticism. Films studied will privilege independent and experimental work, video/media art, animation and web-based video, emphasising the diversification of moving image practices with video and digital media.

John PHILLIPS

This module is an advanced graduate class in critical reading. In it students develop three main areas of competence: (i) knowledge of different critical traditions; (ii) awareness of the various problems of reading and interpretation; and (iii) close reading of texts informed by the knowledge of (i) and the awareness of (ii). In keeping with the advanced nature of the module, much of the responsibility for the direction of the work falls upon the students. Students will explore the texts of a few key thinkers and learn to understand some of the basic principles of critical theory. They will learn to apply specific reading strategies to selected texts and to raise questions about the reading process and its contexts. The emphasis throughout is on the development of students’ critical awareness of positions, strategies and possibilities of interpretation. The module is a core course for research students.

Independent research plays an important role in graduate education. The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic in English Literature in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, programme of study, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. The Head’s and/or Graduate Coordinator’s approval of the written agreement is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

Note: (1) Word limit: 7,000 – 8,000 words. (2) Workload: Minimum 10 hours per week. The precise breakdown of contact hours, assignment and preparation is to be worked out between the lecturer and the student, subject to Departmental approval.

John RICHARDSON

This is a required module for all research Masters and Ph.D. students admitted from AY2004/05 onwards. The module provides a forum for students and faculty to share their research and to engage one another critically in discussion of their current research projects. The module will include presentations by faculty on research ethics and dissertation writing. Each student is required to present a formal research paper. Active participation in all research presentations is expected. The module may be spread over two semesters and will be graded “Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory” on the basis of student presentation and participation.