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BAComparative Literature and Culture and English

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Overview

This joint honours course in Comparative Literature and Culture and English gives you access to a world of literature, allowing you to compare and contrast the English literary tradition with an international canon of works. It willl provide you with the opportunity to combine the study of global literature, philosophy, film and art with the rigorous critical study of English literature, developing you as a culturally-aware, creative and adaptable thinker, with impressive communication and presentation skills.

Comparative Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to study a fascinating breadth of material with a focus on contexts – places, periods, and genres – to explore how key cultural shifts transform how we see, represent, and make sense of our changing world.

You can choose from an exceptionally wide range of fascinating options, spanning continents and centuries, from antiquity to the present day, covering novels, poetry, philosophy, cinema and art. You will read, watch, and compare texts from Ancient Greece to contemporary New York, from Cuba to Korea, from epics to crime fiction, and from tragedy to the avant-garde. Comparative Literature and Culture also enables you to study a varety of foreign texts originally written in many languages, all translated into English.

From Beowulf to the Booker Prize, English offers you the opportunity to study the full historical range of literature in English as well as the latest developments in the field, and even to pursue your own creative writing.

You can discover the earliest works in English, deepen your knowledge of Shakespeare, find out what is great about Renaissance literature, darken your view of the 18th century, and unpack the Victorians. The course’s structure allows you to develop a sound understanding of key periods, genres, authors, and ideas as well as choosing from a huge range of options. You can study Modernism, Postmodernism and American literature, explore literary criticism, develop your own creative writing, and analyse the latest developments in global literatures in English.

Programme structure

Year 1

Reading Texts – Criticism for Comparative Literature
Tales of the City – Introduction to Thematic Analysis
The core modules in English Literature are:

Critical Foundations – Thinking as a Critic
The aim of this module is to help you make the transition into university level work by introducing you to reading, writing and thinking as a critic. The module focuses on developing the abilities and skills of literary criticism and introducing the concepts, ideas and histories that are central to English as a discipline, including questions about interpretation, periodization, form, genre, canon, value, intention, narrative, voice, framing and identity.

Re-orienting the Novel
This module introduces you to the origins, developments and innovations of the novel form through a range of contemporary, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels. Organised thematically, the module considers earlier novels in relation to contemporary examples.

Introduction to Poetry
This module is designed to introduce you to a variety of major poems in English from the Renaissance to the present day. By the end of the course you will be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a wide range of poems from Shakespeare to the present; a familiarity with a variety of poetic forms; an understanding of how poetry functions; and the necessary skills for analysing poetic technique.

Year 2

Histories of Representation
Critical and Comparative Approaches
You must also pick two options from modules which typically include the following:

International Film 2 – Readings and Representations
A Special Theme in the Novel – Transgessions
Visual Arts 2 – Genre and Movements
Gender and Clothing in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture
Deviance, Defiance and Disorder in Early Modern Spanish and French Literature
The core modules in English Literature are:

Introduction to Medieval Literature
This module introduces you to the earliest literary writings in English, covering a span of eight hundred years, from 700 to 1500. You will cover an extensive range of genres and texts – from Beowulf to Arthurian romance, and dream vision to religious drama, and think about issues of vital concern and interest to medieval writers and audiences: religion, love, violence, the supernatural, and kingship and society.

Shakespeare
This module facilitates a deeper – as well as a more pleasurable and rewarding – understanding of the range of Shakespeare’s work. You will be encouraged to think about the plays as theatre as well as printed literature, although a main feature of the course will be its close attention to the extraordinary fertility and force of Shakespeare’s dramatic language. While paying close attention to Shakespeare’s very different historical context in the Renaissance, the module will be equally concerned with the question of whether the plays are still relevant to us today.

Year 3

You must pick two options in Comparative Literature and Culture from modules which typically include the following:

From Aestheticism to the Avant-Garde
The Gothic Mode in Spanish and English Fiction
Transnationalism, Diaspora and Globalisation in Contemporary Film
Humans and Other Animals in Twenty-First Century Fiction and Thought

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Career opportunities

On completion of your Comparative Literature and Culture and English degree at Royal Holloway you will have proven analytical skills and be an adaptable and critical thinker with impressive communication and leadership skills – all of which will appeal to future employers. Your degree not only gives you the directly relevant knowledge to enter the literary, creative, media and arts sectors, but also a range of valuable transferable skills, thereby allowing you to keep your options open, crucial in today’s world of flexible careers. You may also choose to continue your studies by means of a postgraduate degree.

We’re committed to helping you enhance your employment and prepare for the choices ahead. Some of the tailored opportunities you are encourage to take up include work placements, specialise training workshops, networking events and our annual festival of culture.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States