Applied Philosophy I
This module will examine the fundamental questions that have defined Philosophy as a discipline. Particular emphasis will be given to debates surrounding the nature of rationality, logic and critical thinking; the rhetorical power of language and the issues surrounding the use of rhetoric as a tool of persuasion; the uses of scepticism and the question of whether there are limits to what we can know; the ethics of corporate governance; the ethics of animal rights and euthanasia; as well as the philosophical significance of the environmental crisis and biotechnology.
Philosophy: Thinkers and Themes
This module aims to understand the development of western philosophy through its 2,800 year history. More specifically, it examines the claims of the philosophers whose ideas have helped to shape the moral, intellectual and political contours of the contemporary world.
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, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tennessee Williams who call for a national tradition or assume the task of defining it.
Introduction to Contemporary Philosophy
This module will introduce you to the ideas of the key thinkers that have helped to shape the development of 20th-century philosophy. Specific ideas and themes covered will include the significance of Kant in the development of contemporary European thought; Husserl and phenomenology; Heidegger on the authentic life' as well as work on the nature of language, meaning and the mind by contemporary British and American analytic philosophers.
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 complete a placement, write a report around your experience and follow clear work-based learning objectives.
Philosophy optional modules
Applied Philosophy II
Philosophy is often viewed as a remote and highly esoteric discipline that has very little to say to ‘ordinary people’ in their workaday lives.
This module will challenge this view, and examine the ways in which philosophical forms of questioning and analysis can assist us both in our personal and in our working lives. Drawing upon both ancient and modern philosophical sources, the module will examine the way in which philosophy can provide us with ideas and arguments that point us towards greater self-insight and ultimately better ways of living.
Philosophy and Media
This interdisciplinary module aims to view the media philosophically through the lens of everyday life. Its central organising theme is the media’s potential to operate as a powerful philosophical tool within an image saturated society, with the capability to transmit, influence and critique dominant ideological norms.
The Philosophy of Time
Study two opposed contemporary theories of time's flow and three opposed ontological positions regarding the existence of the past, present and future.
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.
Philosophy optional modules
Wittgenstein and Heidegger
This module introduces you to some of the central problems in contemporary philosophy through an examination of the work of two of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
The overall aim of the module is to encourage you to question and wonder about your experience of the wider world and to show the extent to which answers to the philosophical questions posed by both these philosophers can change the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live.
Reasons for Action
The aim of the module is to introduce students to selected issues around the general topic: what kind of reasons for acting one way rather than another are good reasons? One possible reason for doing something is the belief that it’s the right thing to do: we ask whether morality can give us a reason for action. But we also consider other reasons for action (e.g. just wanting to do something) and what it is that we should be aiming for in life in general.
Advanced Topics in Applied Philosophy: Emotion and Power
The overall aim of this module is to show how philosophical modes of inquiry can allow you to make sense of the personal experiences, professional practices and contemporary ways of being that have become central to many aspects of human life in western societies today.
Philosophy and Film
This module aims to view film-philosophy via two interconnected perspectives. You'll learn about the specificity of the film medium and its relationship with philosophy.
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.