History: Practice and Purpose
This core module has been designed to equip you with the essential skills that are needed to read, research and write history during university. During the first section of this module you'll engage with some historical case studies ranging across medieval, early modern, modern contemporary and public history to develop a critical understanding of the often contested nature of historical evidence, how it's handled and its interpretation. In the second section you'll be able to understand the kinds of careers that you are attainable for. You'll contextualise the skills and practices acquired in the first half of the module in terms of raising awareness of employability and graduate attributes. Through interaction with employers and external agencies, you will reflect on the utility of a History degree, on the best ways to promote the qualities and competencies acquired over the course of their degree, and the potential of successful History students to excel in the competitive graduate market.
Modern European History
Explore the ideas and ideologies, political, social and economic changes associated with the development of western Europe and European states from the mid-nineteenth to the late-twentieth centuries. You will examine revolutions and unification, empire and colonisation, war and the state, the rise of communism and fascism, intellectual, economic, cultural and social developments in ways that act as a foundation for your future study of history at university.
Ways of Reading: An Introduction to Literary Criticism
This module will address questions around authorship, textuality, and different ways of interpreting texts, as well as considering what goes into the creation of a ‘text’, as a production between writers and their environments. You will learn key skills around research, writing, referencing, critical reading and forming critical arguments that will help you to develop as an English student.
American Literature: Writing Self and Nation
This module introduces many of the authors, literary movements, and historical events that shaped American literature from the birth of the republic to the contemporary period. You’ll read writers such as Washington Irving, Alice Walker, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Tennessee Williams who call for a national tradition or assume the task of defining it.
The Historian's Craft
This module will challenge you to critically investigate the problems posed by the nature and limits of historical knowledge and consider how history is communicated. The module will allow you to explore final year dissertation research in History, as you'll be informed on how best to identify a research topic and to conceptualise the research thesis.
Culture and Anarchy
This module explores the ways in which the tension between ‘culture’ and ‘anarchy’ has repeatedly surfaced as a driving force in the development of English literature, animating creative expression and shaping critical debate. Taking the broad historical period ranging from the late-19th to the late 20th Century as its backdrop, the module focuses on a number of significant moments at which various understandings of ‘cultural’ and ‘anarchic’ activity have impacted upon the social landscape, and on literary texts themselves.
Humanities in the Workplace
This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. You will carry out a work placement, write a report around your experience and set clear work-based learning objectives.
History optional modules
Land of Liberty: History of the United States, 1815-2000
Consider the forces which have shaped American history between 1815-2000. The module pays specific attention to the ways that major social, economic and political changes have taken place during this time period. You'll explore key historical debates and study a range of primary sources.
The triumph of the First Crusade (1099) resulted in the establishment of a Western European community in the Levant for almost 200 years. In this course you'll investigate not only why such an event took place, but trace its impact and the development of subsequent expeditions through the 12th Century. You'll investigate the events that took place in both the Muslim world and Western Christendom directly before the advent of the crusades.
Fascism in Europe, 1915-45
This module introduces you to the historical development of Fascism as a political movement and regime. The module introduces historical characters and events such as, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Hitler and the Third Reich, General Franco and the Spanish Civil War. The module takes into consideration issues such as gender and homosexuality, racism, propaganda, and architecture in Fascist regimes.
Age of Reformations
Explore one of the major historical events of the early modern period: the Reformation(s) of Martin Luther, John Calvin and the Tudors and Stuart monarchs.
The Eagle and the Snake: Conquests and Colonisations of Mexico
This module will examine the civilisations of Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish. You'll analyse the social, political, and cultural characteristics of the native Mexican civilisations. Through lectures and seminars you'll examine a range of 'clash of cultures' that happened, for example when the first European settlers arrived.
Early Modern Emotions
This module will challenge you to decode the emotional landscape of early modern Britain. You will work to understand our emotional past through examination and analysis of a wealth of textual, physical and visual evidence, historical objects, material culture and diverse media. These can include ballads, wills, diaries, art, sculpture, architecture and landscape.
English optional modules
Shakespeare and Co.: the Early Modern Stage
The module will be structured around four or five thematic clusters of dramatic genre, selected from a range of preoccupations of the period itself and of later critical responses to it. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: Jacobean tragedy, Shakespearean comedy, ‘problem’ comedy, city comedy, and history.
British Women Writers between the Wars (1918-1939)
The years after the First World War saw historic changes affecting the social and economic lives of British women. For the first time women were granted the vote on the same terms as men, and the opening up of professions to women permanently shattered the Victorian ideal of womanhood as the ‘Angel in the House’. Newspapers and magazines of the period were full of images of the ‘modern woman’ who became an emblematic figure for modernity in the interwar years.
This module will explore the ways in which a new generation of professional women writers represented women’s experiences of modernity across a range of literary texts written during the years between 1918 and 1939.
Romantic Revolutions 1780-1851
1780-1851 was a period of political, poetic and social revolution in Britain. By studying poetry and prose of the period, you’ll investigate how far revolutionary social and political change is reflected in the experimental themes and forms of Romantic writing, and the module will be attentive to the development from earlier to later Romantic writing.
During this module, you’ll study and produce writing in different genres, gaining knowledge of craft issues and learning how to apply them to many different forms.
Ethnicity in American Writing: Place, Identity and Form
Racial Identity and ethnic diversity have been central to the American experience since the nation’s founding. In this module you will examine literary interactions between people of different ethnic backgrounds and see how writers use ethnicity as a tool of resistance.
Literature and Psychoanalysis
This module explores the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, examining the way that psychoanalytic theory has reshaped our encounter with literary texts. Building on your understanding of the relationship between critical thinking and literary production and analysis, the module discusses the development of psychoanalysis from its origins to its application by contemporary literary critics. Reading a range of clinical, theoretical and literary texts, you will think about how different approaches to the human psyche have been understood and employed by different readers and writers in different places and at different times.
Voices and Visions
You'll be introduced to new writing specialisms with a particular focus on visual and vocal communication. Throughout this module you'll practice independent learning strategies and draft original creative work to enhance collaboration, research, editing and reviewing skills. You'll be taught how to combine information, think laterally and develop resonant visual and sonic narratives.
Creating an Anthology: Developing Editorial Vision
In the first unit, a programme of lectures and seminar/workshops, will build on your close-reading and critical skills. In the second unit, you will be taught further theoretical concerns specific to the editing and scholarly presentation of texts. You will be guided in applying the skills and knowledge already learnt as you work in groups constructing a critical anthology of your own, and you will be invited to reflect on the processes involved as you work towards the final versions of the anthologies you have chosen to compile.
Black Writing in Britain
Examine a range of literary texts by black writers written in or about Britain from the 1950s until the present day.
The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.
The Creative Writing Dissertation
As an alternative to the critical dissertation, you may wish to do a creative writing dissertation. This alternative will enable you to study and participate in the practice of writing, with particular focus on the production of a long piece of individual creative work.
Humanities Research Project
Explore your interests in a way that draws on both subject areas. Combine the knowledge and skills you have gained in each of your subjects to complete an interdisciplinary piece of research. You can deliver your project either as a written dissertation or through an alternative creative format such as a publication, film, podcast, website, or performance, supported by a shorter essay.
History optional modules
Real-Life Work Project
This module will give you the chance to develop and apply historical skills to real-world situations for external clients. The module will enhance your chances of employability post-university, enhance your confidence and awareness of transferable skills whilst developing and delivering work to external client briefs. External clients will include museums, heritage sites, charities, trusts, local organisations and private businesses.
Crusading Cultures and Communities
This module will allow you to explore the impact of crusading activities on societies in Medieval Europe. It will start by providing an overview of crusading in the 12th and 13th Centuries, and go on to look at a series of case studies in order to highlight the pervasive and Protean nature of the crusade agenda.
Early Modern Revolution and War
This module contextualises the civil wars across the British Isles in the period 1639-1660 within the context of the debate on the concept of military revolution with the wider background of the European Sphere, the Dutch Wars and the Thirty Years War. The module will also include a study of leadership and political / religious commitment, again within the background of the revolution / evolution debate.
The African American Experience in History and Memory
This module will examine the historical experience of black people in the United States of America. You'll consider slavery in the United States and investigate how both slavery and racism took place and spread across North America during the colonial period, to the mature plantation society and right before the civil war. During the second part of the module you will consider African-American experiences after Emancipation.
Living and Dying in Reformation Britain
This module explores key themes in the social and cultural history of Reformation Britain. You'll debate with your peers on the continuities and changes in religious belief and experiences, social attitudes, and cultural practices. The first part of the module explores the lasting impact of the Reformations on various aspects of life and lived experience in early modern England. The second part will explore the end of life, in regards to aspects of death and remembrance.
The Holocaust in History and Memory
In this module, we examine both the history of the Holocaust and interrogate how it has been discussed and commemorated in myriad ways. From the rise of hyper-nationalism, fascism and virulent racism in Germany, to the ways and places the Holocaust has been remembered, the aim is to develop your understanding of what made this genocide possible and how it was perpetrated.
Britain, War and Society in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
You will explore the key themes in the social, economic and political history of modern Britain from the Victorian period onward, and reflect on the relationship between complex interconnected issues during a transformative period in British history. The module takes a broad chronological sweep incorporating a range of conflicts and how these have impacted democracy, empire, welfare, politics and our lives.
English optional modules
English and Creative Industries Project
The module will give you the opportunity to undertake project work in a small group, led by a project supervisor, and to produce a portfolio of critical and reflective writing. Working with an employer on a defined project you'll be able to put into practice the skills and knowledge gained over the course of their degree within a professional setting.
Early Modern Poetry and Prose
This module introduces you to authors writing poetry and prose in the 16th and 17th Centuries. You’ll become familiar with some of the following literary genres: the sonnet, the epic poem, the epyllia, ‘metaphysical’ poetry, satire, political allegory and radical writing. The module will greatly expand contextual knowledge, and explore political and religious context, as well as the application of appropriate theoretical approaches (e.g. cultural materialism, gender theory).
Reading Gender and Sexuality
This module examines the politics and aesthetics of gender and sexuality in relation to the writing of 20th Century and contemporary literature. It historicises and submits to sceptical analysis central concepts in the period's conceptualisations of fixed gender identities and sexual identities. Key terms for analysis include: femininity, masculinity, androgyny, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, ethnicity, and 'difference'. These are related to literary texts from a range of cultures and from four main periods: the early 20th Century, the mid-century, the period of the sexual revolution and the contemporary.
Postcolonial Texts: Narratives of Liberation
This module focuses on postcolonial texts (fiction, poetry and film) and considers the relationship between acts of representation and the politics of anti-colonialism and postcolonialism. It introduces you to the historical, political and cultural contexts of the postcolonial world, as well as to a range of texts produced in postcolonial societies.
Travel Writing: Texts, Contexts and Theory
Led by members of staff from our highly regarded Centre for Travel Writing Studies, this module provides an overview of travel writing. It examines criticism and theories of the genre (including arguments about whether it constitutes a genre at all). You’ll be invited to consider the relationship of travel writing to society and to other forms of literature, both canonical and non-canonical.
Gothic Rebels and Reactionaries
This module will begin by exploring Romanticism’s Gothic impulse, examining the rise of the Gothic Romance in the late 18th Century, before investigating its development into the 19th Century. Each week, the module will consider a key literary text from the period alongside a theoretical issue in order to establish a critical vocabulary from which to interpret and understand Gothic’s many manifestations.
Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory
This module will be organized into three related thematic sections. The first will explore approaches to literature in contemporary theory, focusing in particular on innovative developments which work at the intersection of criticism and writing. Section two will examine debates about literature, culture, and technology which will include sessions on digital and other technologies, mobile devices, and electronic literature. Section three will consider recent debates about concepts of the world, transnational social processes, and global culture. These concepts and directions in contemporary theory will be approached through work by, among others, Giorgio Agamben, Roland Barthes, Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, N. Katherine Hayles, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Gayatri Spivak. Throughout, it will reflect on fiction, poetry, and other literary writing that engages with this module’s principal concerns.
Modernism and Modernity
This module explores some of the central features of the many transnational movements of modernism, examining how the experimental qualities of modernist culture were conditioned by responses to changes in social and technological modernity.
Nuclear Literature: Culture in the Atomic Age
Introduces students to the literary and cultural impact of a key technology and the latest debates in the Nuclear Humanities. Engaging students with research being undertaken into this subject at NTU, the module considers the representation of nuclear technology and science in literary texts, as well as the questions raised for literature by the dawning of the nuclear age.