LET-ETCENB202
Dead or Alive? The Contemporary British Novel
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-ETCENB202
Credits (ECTS)5
Category-
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; English Language and Culture;
Lecturer(s)
Lecturer
dr. L. Janssen
Other course modules lecturer
Examiner
dr. U.M. Wilbers
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. U.M. Wilbers
Other course modules lecturer
Coordinator
dr. U.M. Wilbers
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. U.M. Wilbers
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
Period
PER 1-PER 2  (30/08/2021 to 30/01/2022)
Starting block
PER 1
Course mode
full-time
Remarks-
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
In this course students will:
·         apply and further develop the knowledge that you previously acquired about textual analysis and literary theory;
·         acquire the critical and theoretical tools to analyse works of contemporary British fiction from a variety of thematic angles;
·         gain a solid understanding of the workings of the British literary field and the role that institutions like the Man Booker Prize play;
·         form critical opinions about the supposed demise of the British novel and contribute to the current debate about this topic;
·         participate actively in group discussions in class and on Brightspace;
·         independently apply the knowledge gained during the course in a take home exam.
Content
On May 2 of 2014 author Will Self published an article in The Guardian which contained the following ominous statement: "The novel is dead (this time it's for real). Literary fiction used to be central to the culture. No more: in the digital age, not only is the physical book in decline, but the very idea of 'difficult' reading is being challenged. The future of the serious novel ... is as a specialised interest." Self is not the only person to proclaim the demise of the novel form, nor is he the first: pessimistic pronouncements like these go back many decades. At the same time, there appears to be plenty of evidence to support the claim that British fiction is vibrant and alive. The publicity circus generated every year by the Man Booker Prize would, for instance, definitely seem to suggest as much.
 
In this course we will join the debate about the state of British fiction today by analysing a selection of novels from a variety of thematic angles. In the analysis of these texts we will build on the skills of textual analysis and literary theory that you acquired and developed in the courses Reading Literature and British Literature and Culture of the 19th and 20th Century. We will try and take the pulse of current British fiction by asking such questions as: which themes are contemporary authors concerned with, and why? In what narratological forms do they express them? What can the investigation of their critical reception tell us about their status and relevance, and the state of British fiction in general?
 
Level

Presumed foreknowledge
Prerequisite: Reading Literature (B1) or an equivalent course in literary theory and analysis.
Test information

Specifics

Assumed previous knowledge
B2 ‘British Literature and Culture of the 17th and 18th Century’, B2 ‘Dead or Alive? The Contemporary British Novel’, B3 ‘Fools and Furies: The Early Modern Stage’, B2 ‘Screening the Novel’, B2 ‘Beyond Britishness’, B2 ‘British Popular Culture’ na B1 ‘Reading Literature’ of een vergelijkbare cursus.

Required materials
Book
Title:Autumn
Author:Ali Smith
Book
Title:The Sense of an Ending
Author:Julian Barnes
Book
Title:Klara and the Sun
Author:Kazuo Ishiguro
Book
Title:Girl, Woman, Other
Author:Bernardine Evaristo
Literature
Title:Secondary texts will be made available to the students during the course.
Book
Title:Fingersmith
Author:Sarah Waters

Instructional modes
Lecture

Seminar

Tests
Take Home Exam
Test weight100
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 3

Minimum grade
5,5

Participation
Test weight0
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 3

Minimum grade
Voldoende