The History of English Literature II

lgerm1524  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

The History of English Literature II
5.00 credits
30.0 h

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
This course offers a chronological and critical survey of English literature from the 18th to the 21st century. It examines and illustrates the main literary movements and genres of this period and places them in their socio-cultural contexts.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 At the end of the course, students should be able to show insight into the distinctive features of major literary movements and genres. They should be able to situate them in their socio-cultural and historical contexts. Students will become familiar with important literary figures and canonical works of the historical period that is studied. They will be expected to know how to read and interpret some key texts.
This course offers students an opportunity to analyze the dominant literary and artistic productions and movements of the 19th & 20th century and their aftermath: from Victorian to modern, from modern to post- postmodern, post-9/11 and climate change fiction. This class first contextualizes Victorian times, modernity and the postmodern cultural phenomenon (Lyotard, Jameson, Hutcheon). It starts with a first module on gender an female voices. After an introduction to Victorian times and literature (with an in-depth analysis of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847)), it examines postcolonial fiction via an analysis of Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, the famous prequel and response to Jane Eyre. The second module focuses on modernism and postmodernism exemplified by a comparison between Virginia Woolf's modernist novel Mrs Dalloway (1925) and Michael Cunningham's postmodern rewriting The Hours (1998). The third part of this class addresses the possibilities and limits of storytelling in graphic novels: war trauma in Art Spiegelman's Maus and climate change/human impact upon Earth in Richard McGuire's Here (2014). This last module provides students with an introduction to comics studies as well as to a number of critical terms (trauma, postmemory, deep time, hyperobject).
Teaching methods
Lectures; PowerPoint presentations, films, required reading, course notes.
Students prepare readings and questions prior to class time to facilitate discussion. They attend workshops (15 hours) to discuss the novels covered in class as well as their personal assignments (2).
Evaluation methods
Oral exam (with one written question) based on the lectures and the required readings. To take the exam, students will have submitted and corrected 2 assignments and one video (shown in class).
Portofolio de lectures (syllabus disponible à la DUC); 3 romans (DUC)
Teaching materials
  • syllabus disponible à la DUC
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English

Minor in English Studies

Minor in Literary Studies