ENG32520 Ugly Feelings

Academic Year 2021/2022

Recent months have underscored a range of intense human emotions—daily joys and frustrations, fear, mourning, anger. We have only to look at the daily paper to see the ways in which familiar feelings are deployed to give meaning to local and world events.
This course will examine the changing cultural representations of emotion across a range of genres in film, media, and literature. We will consume broadly, analysing Victorian, modern, and contemporary texts for representations of individual emotions, shared public affects, bodily registers. In particular, we will investigate the forms, operations, and potentials of what we might call “ugly” feelings.
We will consider what it means to represent or create feeling through text. How are emotions historically situated and embodied? How do allowed and restrained emotions reveal or enforce patterns of power? Each week will focus on a cultural text and its portrayal of a central feeling: anger, grief, boredom, resentment, fear, disgust, envy.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. Establish key theoretical and historical contexts for the study of emotions & affects.
2. Apply these concepts and contexts in close analysis of course texts.
3. Consider emotion in the particular context of power, as revealed through critical theories of sexuality, race, gender, age, and the body.
4. Complete short exercises, discussions, and a final exam demonstrating proficiency in critical concepts in the study of emotions and textual analysis.
5. Hone presentation and creative thinking via individual and group work in class.

Indicative Module Content:

Each week will focus on a cultural text (a poem, novel, film, television show, or architectural space) and its portrayal of a central feeling: anger, grief, boredom, resentment, fear, disgust, envy.

Secondary readings provide key terms in the History of Emotions (emotives, emotional communities, affect, practice, emotional regimes and refuges) and explain relations of emotional expression and regulation. The course understands emotions as culturally and historically situated, evolving, and embodied. Explorations of emotion will be situated in terms of class, gender, culture, race, age, sexuality and religion.

This course is team taught and readings will shift each semester. Readings may include:
ME Braddon, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Harriet Jacobs, James Baldwin, Edna O’Brien, Orhan Pamuk, Sally Rooney, Karin Fossum, Kamila Shamsie.
Television Series: Insecure, You’re the Worst, Great British Bake-off
Film: Selections from Bollywood and Theatre spaces
History of Emotions: Sianne Ngai, Sara Ahmed, William Reddy, Rob Boddice, Martha Nussbaum

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities

40

Autonomous Student Learning

50

Lectures

20

Total

110

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will proceed with a series of shared discussions and short exercises in close reading and writing. A final exam will test textual analysis and concepts covered.

In Autumn, 2020, the module will be delivered online, with a mix of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) material. Some sessions may be recorded, to provide access to students. 
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
Examination: Final Examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No

60

Continuous Assessment: Discussion Questions & Responses Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No

30

Continuous Assessment: Short Writing Exercise Unspecified n/a Graded No

10


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

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

After exam feedback will be offered. Feedback after short continuous assessment exercises will be offered.

As this was a new course for Autumn 2020 and changes topics annually, the full reading list will be finalized in late summer.

However, the indicative reading list for 2021 includes:

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself, Harriet Jacobs
Girl, Edna O'Brien
Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars... , Cheng Tom
Calling Out for You, Karin Fossum
Mad Men, Insecure, Transparent
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh


Fuller readings span the 19th-21st centuries and might include:
ME Braddon, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Gustave Flaubert, Harriet Jacobs, James Baldwin, Edna O’Brien, Orhan Pamuk, Sally Rooney, Karin Fossum, Kamila Shamsie.
Television Series: Insecure, You’re the Worst, Great British Bake-off
Film: Selections from Bollywood, theater spaces
History of Emotions: Sianne Ngai, Sara Ahmed, William Reddy, Rob Boddice, Martha Nussbaum

Name Role
Dr Tupur Chattopadhyay Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sarah Comyn Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Sarah Cullen Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Fionnuala Dillane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Katherine Fama Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Anne Fogarty Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Clare Hayes-Brady Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Jorie Lagerwey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Anne Mulhall Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Michelle O'Connell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Emilie Pine Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Maria Stuart Lecturer / Co-Lecturer