5 August 2016
Literature in the City
This module will examine the relationship between urban space and narrative representation in three European cities: London, Dublin, and Berlin. Beginning with an overview of the phenomenon and resulting phenomena of urban overhaul, from Haussmanns Paris to Victorian London via the accelerated modernisation of St Petersburg, it will then stage an interrogation of the creation and manipulation of cityscapes through the lens of literature; specifically, the labyrinthine London of Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf, the mythical Dublin of James Joyce, and the beleaguered Berlin of Christopher Isherwood. Students will be encouraged to use a combination of political, social, and literary theory to navigate literal and figurative cityscapes, through class discussion, short assignments, and exercises in urban rambling. Visits to museums and sites of interest will be an important element and it is hoped that this module will give students an insight into city space as a matrix of creative thought, as well as introducing them to three significant English-language writers of the urban experience. Discussion of three cities will allow for a multidimensional comparative analysis.
This module is aimed at students who have a particular interest in modern literature and culture. Their background may be in the Arts and Humanities, including English or history. It will be particularly beneficial for students intending to progress to graduate level.
To develop an understanding of modernity as a category of analysis in literary studies.
To narrow the gap between theoretical and material analysis.
To foster skills in interdisciplinary analysis and to establish conceptual connections between different authors, cities, and eras.
To orientate students in a number of categories of literary analysis, including: post-colonial, Marxist, queer, cultural, and performance theory.
To exhibit the ways in which critical thinking can move fluidly and fruitfully between different modes of investigation.
To enhance the learning experience through practical engagements with space and architecture.
To familiarise students with several canonical writers of the urban experience.
To facilitate independent thought, classroom discussion, and the application of new critical skills to texts chosen by the students themselves.
To workshop students on essay style and writing technique through specialised sessions and assessment feedback.
Many of our students get credit for the summer modules taken at King’s. You should approach your home university before applying as it is up to them to apply the credit to your degree programme. We would recommend a three week module would be equivalent to 3-4 US credits or 7.5 ECTS.
GBP 1590: Tuition fee only