PHIL20570 Philosophy & Literature

Academic Year 2022/2023

Here Be Monsters: Imaginaries of the Human and Post-Human

This course explores the intersections of philosophy and literature in regard to notions of the human, the post-human and forms of alienation. By bringing major works of literature into conversation with key philosophical texts, the course interrogates our imagination and articulation of the human condition as well as the idea of the monstrous. We will study four to five key literary texts in conversation with shorter weekly philosophical readings. Literary texts will vary, but may include Frankenstein, Never Let Me Go, Zone One and Dracula. Philosophical texts may include works by writers including Aristotle, Descartes, Adorno and Horkheimer, Braidotti, Haraway and Foucault.

The module invites students to consider how philosophy and literature offer different perspectives on questions of the self and society, and how the construction of the self depends on a social constructions of the other. Students will develop their existing critical skills to examine the formation of identity and power structures in different cultural contexts, thinking about how human/non-human binaries affect the development of the subject in cultural, economic and political systems. The course encourages students to consider diverse cultural ideas of the monstrous, and how these different images operate in different forms of discourse. Core themes emerging from discussion will include:

> constructions of the monstrous as a reflection of cultural values;
> the role of fear in cultural praxis;
> technology as a driver of and challenge to ethics;
> the forms, ethics and aesthetics of the monstrous;
> alienation as a cultural force in contemporary society;
> what it may mean to be (post)human
> language, authority and the role of the state in defining the human.

This module will be co-taught by Dr Clare Hayes-Brady (English) and Dr Danielle Petherbridge (Philosophy)

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On succcessful completion of the module, a student should be able to :
- Describe and analyze the primary themes and contexts of the module.
- Examine and explore cultural exchange between fiction and philosophy.
- Engage with ideas of subjectivity, alienation and the notion of the human as well as relevant critical discourses.
- Use a range of academic and creative tools to synthesize, assimilate and present information.
- Engage in academic debate, written and verbal, at an appropriate level of critical rigour.
- Employ transferable skills of research, analytical and writing skills in relation to chosen topics.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, tutorials, independent learning, feedback on assignments.

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: Literature Review Week 10 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Participation in Tutorials Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Final Essay Week 12 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Creative Assignment Week 6 n/a Graded No


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

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given to individual students post-assessment.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Clare Hayes-Brady Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Georgios Petropoulos Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Samuel Ferns Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 16:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 16:00 - 16:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 12:00 - 12:50