EL5007 - Literature and Identity

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will explore the concept of identity in relation to literary texts across a range of periods and genres. The module will address the relationship between identity formation and narration, drawing on approaches that might include narrative theory and psychoanalysis. You will be encouraged to consider how literary texts participate in the representation and production of gendered, racial, national, sexual, post-colonial and other identities. The module will extend your understanding of literary theory and its application to literary texts and prepare you for the study of theory-based modules at Level 6.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be taught via two 1.5 hour weekly sessions, which will include lecture and seminar components. The weighting of lecture versus seminar will vary week-on-week depending on the texts and topics under discussion. Lectures will supply key contextual information and introduce relevant theoretical and literary concepts. Seminars will give you the opportunity to discuss and reflect critically on ideas presented in the lectures, and in doing so develop your own critical responses to the texts. Seminars will also help in the development of your intellectual, practical and transferable skills. The final three weeks are given over to summative presentations and in-depth discussion of essay plans.

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 both reading and the preparation of critical responses to the studied topics) either individually or in small groups. Your independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and research in preparation for your presentation and essay, the consolidation of seminar materials and the completion of the assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your week-on-week learning will be supported by lecture slides made available via the e-learning portal and handouts with study questions provided by the tutors in advance to help you prepare each week’s seminar. You will meet the module tutor for at least one one-on-one tutorial to discuss an essay plan, and 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. The module will make appropriate use of the VLE to provide you with module material, links to resources and discussion areas. The feedback you will receive on formative and summative work is detailed and emphasises existing strengths of your writing and communication skills as well as 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. In-depth knowledge of key literary treatments of identity
2. An appreciation of the significance of context, and the ability to relate relevant historical and social context to literary texts

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. The ability to incorporate theoretical ideas into the analysis of literary texts
4. The ability to present analysis in written and oral forms, exhibiting key transferable skills.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Understanding of sensitive ethical issues surrounding identity politics, including sexism, racism and body politics.

How will I be assessed?

Oral presentation (30%)
The oral presentation assesses Module Learning Outcomes 3., 4. and 5. in particular, as it provides you with an opportunity to offer your own insights into key critical debates while also encouraging you to engage with and respond to the work of your peers. Many students find it difficult to contribute to seminar discussion and a formal and assessed presentation is one way of providing these students with a more structured format. The oral presentation further gives you practice in key employability skills (verbal communication skills and the use of audio-visual aids).

2,500 word essay (70%)
The essay assesses Module Learning Outcomes 1., 2., 3. and 4. in particular by enabling you to explore texts covered on the module in depth and to engage with key critical concepts and cultural contexts explored on the module.

Feedback from the first assignment will inform your preparation of the second. Ongoing formative feedback will take place within the seminars as part of the continual discursive process of group analysis of the texts, themes and issues.

Feedback will be provided in typed form with additional verbal or handwritten comments, and you will be invited to discuss your individual feedback with the module tutor in a one-on-one tutorial.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code T710

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

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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