EL6017 - History, Myth, Narrative: Prose Writing about the First World War

What will I learn on this module?

You will explore a selection of key prose texts (novels and short stories) about the First World War that were written between 1914 and the present day. You will relate these novels and short stories to a range of influential critical ideas across literary studies and history. The module will help you to understand the close links between literary writing about the war and the way the war has been remembered in Britain at different points in time and will develop your research skills beyond your own discipline by allowing you to engage with scholarly concepts and sources in history, psychology and sociology. By reading a range of autobiographical and fictional prose texts, you will think about the value of literary texts as sources of cultural history, and you will investigate the changing historical contexts in which these texts have been produced, published and read. Themes and topics you will cover include the representation of soldiers, enemies and allies, class and gender in war writing, formal and publishing aspects and memory and remembrance.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be taught via a combination of one 1.5 hour weekly interactive lecture and one 1.5 hour weekly seminar. Lectures will provide you with a thorough grounding in knowledge and understanding of the set texts and the historical and critical context of First World War writing. Seminars give you the opportunity to present your own interpretations and ideas to the group and to engage with the perspectives of others, and to discuss the texts and your ideas in detail with the module tutor.

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 essays, 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 ahead of the week’s lecture, and a detailed study booklet that offers clear guidance 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 both existing strengths of your writing and 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. Knowledge of a selection of short stories and novels addressing the First World War and familiarity with key critical texts addressing the literature, history and memory of the First World War.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. The ability to critically analyse and evaluate popular assumptions and critical ideas about the First World War as a major historical event of the twentieth century as reflected in literature, and the interdisciplinary nature of war writing.
3. Analytical and interpretative skills in presenting an argued case in written form, appropriate to level 6.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Awareness of the global nature of English literature and its impact on society and culture

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by means of one creative-critical exercise and one traditional essay: a contribution to a ‘Trench Journal’ accompanied by a short critical reflection of no more than 1,500 words in total, to be split evenly between creative and critical components (worth 40% of your overall mark) and an essay of 2,500 words (worth 60% of your overall mark). Both assignments test Module Learning Outcomes 1. to 4. in that they will allow you to develop your ability to analyse and evaluate critical ideas, help you enhance your analytical and interpretative skills, and develop your ability to present an argued case in written form appropriate to level 6. The range of texts you will discuss in your essays will enhance your awareness of the global nature of English literature and the impact it has on society and culture.

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

In addition to the summative assessment, you will submit a formative essay plan that will help you prepare your final summative essay, which consists of a 150-word abstract and a one-page plan in bullet points. Besides receiving written feedback on the plan from the module tutor, all students will be expected to sign up for a one-on-one tutorial to discuss their plan.





Module abstract

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

Course info

UCAS Code Q320

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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