ENG10220 Literature and Crisis

Academic Year 2022/2023

What good is literature in a crisis? Literature and Crisis introduces students to the key ways in which literature has engaged with urgent social, political and cultural crises throughout history, from medieval responses to the Black Death to contemporary novels of climate crisis and disaster capitalism. Through lectures and tutorials we will examine why writers have turned to literary forms such as drama, fiction, and poetry to intervene in the most pressing issues of their times. Reading across genres, histories, and cultures, the module aims to develop key skills in close analysis, transhistorical and cross-cultural comparison, and persuasive writing. Literature and Crisis also seeks to enable students to analyse and understand the value and power of literature.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students will have developed:
- The ability to analyse passages of literary text for its aesthetic engagement with social, cultural and political contexts
- An understanding of how literature changes in relation to historical change
- An awareness of how literary texts can be interpreted through a variety of critical lenses
- Enhanced skills in academic writing, argumentation, and presentation
- Awareness of the value of literary study and its relevance to society

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module enables students to develop their ability to analyse literary texts through close reading, and to connect those analyses of the aesthetics of literary texts to key social, political and cultural changes. Lectures will model close readings, and build student knowledge of the relationship between text and context. Tutorials will help students build competence and confidence in close reading, contextual analysis, transhistorical comparison, and argumentation. Specified learning activities will direct students to develop their own analyses through close reading and short writing exercises 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Mid-trimester close reading assignment, 1500 words Week 7 n/a Graded No


Assignment: 2000 word essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided through Brightspace on online submitted components, with opportunities for one-to-one feedback

Name Role
Professor Porscha Fermanis Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Harriet Hulme Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Margaret Kelleher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Cormac O'Brien Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Niamh Pattwell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Emilie Pine Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Rebecca Stephenson Lecturer / Co-Lecturer