Undergraduate

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Course Description

 Core and Major Prescribed Electives | General Education Requirement (GER) | Creative Writing

 

 

​​HI3001  1984: Past, Present, Prophecy
AU: 3
Prerequisite: Nil​

​​​​​​​During the second half of the twentieth century George Orwell’s 1984 became a staple (if not a cliché) of political, cultural and sociological comment. Heavily promoted by state actors after the Second​ World War for propaganda purposes, it took on a counter cultural life of its own during the late 1960s and 1970s. Interest in the book was again reinvigorated in the 1980s thanks to the arrival of new​ computer, media and military technologies. In 2017 sales of the novel reached a new peak. Orwell’s novel only seems to have gained in momentum and relevance; its depictions of “Big Brother,” of​ telescreens, and of the “forever war” have been uncannily prescient. This course examines in multi-disciplinary detail the long cultural tail of Orwell’s canonical text.​

The course work includes an extended, intensive study of a literary text in conversation with the methods, concepts, and practices of contemporary history. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, this course ​will feature deliberation on and assessment of different disciplinary methods, and the assignments challenge you to express your knowledge in new modes and registers and to different audiences.

HI3002 Opera and Literature
AU: 3
Prerequisite: Nil​​
​​You will be exposed from the very outset, to operas identifiable from days of old and yet are still relevant in your lives today. Examples are operas that feature the lives of Julius Caesar and Mary Queen of Scots, and those that transition into musicals such as Schoenberg’s Les Miserables and Lloyd-Webber’s Cats. 

This course encourages you to explore the creative impetus within you, and shows you how to compose and integrate sound, music and text deeply embedded in your creative unconscious, so as to produce a unique artwork that is truly yours. In this materialistic world, you will be given the opportunity to explore a higher dimension where imagination and creativity reside. ​

HL1001 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
AU: 3
Prerequisite: Nil

This course investigates some of the ways in which literary works not only express, but also foster our sense of modernity. It looks in turn at works from a number of major genres, including three very different short stories, a classic 'existential' novel, a selection of modern poems (with a focus on poetry written by women), a film (an ambivalent romantic comedy), and a landmark play that transformed the nature of modern drama. There will also be a session on critical writing. In an age in which traditional literary categories are being challenged and reshaped, in which social values and cultural identities are being invented and reinvented, we will consider ways in which some of the most important writers of the last one hundred and fifty years have challenged tradition, and produced works that have shaped contemporary consciousness.

HL1002 SURVEY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE 1​
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course covers over one thousand years of English writing, from Anglo-Saxon to Neoclassical literature. We will focus primarily on the relationship between form and history in seeking to understand this literature, where form refers to a given texts genre or mode (e.g.,revenge tragedy), its linguistic and narrative characteristics, and so on, while history means both material and cultural formations as these change through time. While we will engage closely with questions of traditional literary history, we will also consider how more recent ways of reading and thinking about literature from deconstruction to queer theory might enrich our understanding of these mostly canonical works. The course will touch upon a number of big themes in English literature, with particular emphasis on the rise of individualism and the impact of the Reformation on early-modern culture and thought.

HL1003 SURVEY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE II
AU: 3
Prerequisite:HL1001

This survey provides an introductory overview of influential literary works from the Romantics to the present. Lectures will present historical and cultural contexts, such as the French Revolution and World War I; while close readings of our primary texts will show us how these contexts helped to shape the formal and aesthetic developments of each time period. Through studying a number of canonical texts, we will stress the revolution in poetry achieved by the Romantics, the rise of the novel as a new genre, the experimental nature of nineteenth and twentieth-century literature, the impact of modernism and postmodernism, and the ways these developments have defined our understanding of literature and culture.

HL1005 INTRODUCTION TO SINGAPORE LITERATURE
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Singapore has a rich heritage of writing in the various local vernaculars. This course will examine how English-language writers handle the task of the creative expression of Singapore life and society, and whether such work contributes to or tracks the formation of a specifiable Singapore identity/culture. The following topics will also be addressed: use and representation of history, multiculturalism and cosmopolitan identity, integration versus enclavism, relation between art and society/politics, place and function of Singapore Colloquial English (aka Singlish).

HL1006 INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course provides a general introduction to American literature through an analysis of canonical works from the 19th and 20th centuries. It will encompass a range of genres and address a number of different literary movements, including regionalism, modernism and postmodernism. Students will be encouraged to locate each work within its wider historical, social and cultural context, and to engage, where relevant, with issues such as race, class and sexuality.

HL1007 CLASSICAL LITERATURE
AU:

Prerequisite: : HL1001

We'll divide our time between studying and discussing the literature, and learning the essential rules of good academic writing. The literary aspect of the class teaches dialogic, analytic, and critical skills. By the end of the course, students will have developed a familiarity with the classical literary genres of epic, lyric, tragedy, and comedy.

HL2001 MEDIEVAL LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This is a comprehensive introduction to English literature from its Anglo-Saxon beginnings to the end of the 15th century. Spanning a period of just under 800 years, medieval English literature embraces an astonishing variety of genres and subjects, from the elevated tragedy of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde to the knockabout farce of "A Gest of Robyn Hode." In exploring this diversity, we will question the traditional view of the Middle Ages as a monolithic "Age of Faith" that can be neatly opposed to our own modernity. The course thus aims to consider early English literature in light of important changes during the Middle Ages, including the development of individualism, the growth of political protest and satire, the decline of feudalism, and the increasingly prominent role of popular culture. Selected texts will be read in Middle English with the help of a glossary; no experience reading Old or Middle English is required.

HL2002 RENAISSANCE LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

The term "renaissance," meaning 'rebirth', was popularised by Jacob Burckhardt in the 19th century, and has since then been inseparable from the idea that a new kind of European individual emerged between the 14th and 17th centuries, along with humanism, capitalism, protestantism, empirical science and European imperialism. Burckhardt was writing about Catholic Italy, however, and the individuals this course will examine lived in England, under absolutist Tudor and Stuart monarchs, during a time when the Protestant reformation was giving rise to new democratic ideologies. These writers witnessed the systematic demolition of English Catholicism, and of the feudal society that it entailed, by Henry VIII and his children. The ensuing tension between monarchy and democracy resulted in the English civil war, a conflict which produced, among other things, Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. The texts chosen for this course demonstrate that, despite the excitement produced by new discoveries in art, science and geography, the emotion of loss suffuses the literature of the century leading up to the civil war, and this must qualify any notion that the history of the English renaissance is an unambiguous progress-narrative. Rather, it is a period fraught with contradictions, contradictions that enabled the production of some unique works of literary art.

HL2003 RESTORATION AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LITERATURE
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

We will study canonical examples of English poetry, drama, and prose fiction written during the period 1660-1800. In order to contextualize these works historically, we will study major developments in England during this period, including evolutions in national identity; challenges to social hierarchies of class, race, and gender; and innovations in literary forms and genres.

HL2004 SENSIBILITY AND ROMANTICISM
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

Throughout the "long eighteenth century", Britain was regarded not only as a land of liberty and opportunity, but also as a nation of eccentrics whose works challenged, and helped to change, the intellectual, cultural, social and political norms prevalent in Europe at the time. This module explores a selection of issues that define the age of sensibility and romanticism and left lasting implications. These include: the coming-of-age of the personal and the critical essay; a new interest in the relation between the individual and society; a passion for travel and the delight in playfully exploring "otherness"; the rise of an obsession with nation, landed property and designer goods; a fascination with the past and tradition, and the revaluation of Shakespeare; the absorption with the self, and the development of a culture of sensibility; the extension of education to women; the discovery of childhood; the relation between enlightenment thinking and political radicalism; and, especially, the gradual emergence, from early journalism to the Gothic novel, of a literature that investigates both social conscience and the inner life of the individual. We shall trace and discuss these issues as they express themselves in a selection of poems, prose works, and novels, as well as in other forms of cultural expression such as painting, architecture, landscape gardening, and costume.

HL2005 Victorian Literature
AU:3
Prerequisite:HL1001 

Victorian Literature provides an introduction to some of the best literary works of the 19th century, while drawing attention to neglected aspects of this extremely versatile, fast changing, and intriguingly self-conscious age. The course aims to foster excitement about the indeterminacies, doubts, and fissures that shaped the Victorian period's greatest cultural achievements. At the same time, we shall critically reconsider the many legacies of the shifts it saw in epistemological, cultural, and specifically literary conceptualisations. The material discussed this semester will include novels by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Wilkie Collins, one of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, a play by Oscar Wilde, as well as a selection of poems and paintings.

HL2006 MODERNISM
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course surveys European and American Modernist Literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1950s. For many artists, the trauma of the First World War and its aftermath led to an increased sense of anxiety and a loss of faith in traditional beliefs or cultural systems as well as in outmoded artistic techniques. Literature of this period was heavily influenced by the philosophical works of Marx and Nietzsche as well as by the advances made in science by Darwin and Einstein. Also, of vital importance to the literary culture of the Modernist movement was the new field of psychoanalysis led by figures such as Freud and Jung. Reflecting the profound transitions of the period, Modernist writers offered radical new formal innovations while challenging moral, sexual, and political orthodoxies. Modernism is also marked by a preoccupation with the role of the artist itself. By studying the key texts and writers of modernism, we will seek to understand the main conerns and features of this 'movement'.

HL2007 CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE AND CULTURE  
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course seeks to investigate various fictional images of an oft-tumultuous contemporary world from the mid twentieth century to the present. The contemporary is multi-faceted and represents a truly cosmopolitan series of landscapes and contemporary authors are alert to the strains of contemporary music, influenced by film and television, conscious of the prevalence of visual imagery. Many contemporary authors engage with the relativisation of various kinds of values and we will closely consider the ways in which this tendency continually resurfaces.

HL2008 SINGAPORE LITERATURE & CULTURE 
AU:3
PrerequisiteHL1001 

 

In this course, we shall situate Singaporean literature more broadly within colonial and postcolonial representations of the region as well as within contemporary global developments in literature and culture. We shall take a critical look at the ways in which both residents and those passing through, immigrant groups and colonial powers, diasporic writers and the self-conscious "heartlander" represent Singapore, its history, its unique demography, and its urban culture. The texts we look at will therefore comprise locally as well as internationally published and circulated fiction as well as early writings by coloniser and colonised alike.

HL2009 SOUTHEAST ASIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This module approaches its topic through a variety of selected writings in English or in English translation. Largely that of women’s writings, texts to be studied range from the non-fictional such as letters and biographies, to poetry, short stories and novels from various countries in the region – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines. Situating the writings in their respective socio-cultural, political and historical contexts, the course will discuss issues such as the conditions of literary production and reception; whether the description “Southeast Asian” is merely a geographical category, culturally embedded, or a valid and significant construct based on a shared, and in the case of the women’s writings, a gendered “Southeast Asian women’s” experience. The course will examine the extent to which the experience was precipitated by colonial and postcolonial urgencies; the extent to which these women’s narratives, and representations of their experience are feminist, and inescapably inscribed by patriarchal structures; and the usefulness of Western feminist and postcolonial theories in approaching these texts.

HL2010 EAST ASIAN LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001  
 

This course examines literatures and cultures in different regions of contemporary East Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, etc.). The range of the texts in this course includes fictions, short stories, theatrical performance, and films, and we will discuss these cultural products vis-a-vis the intensive process of globalisation in these regions (roughly early 1990s and onwards) as well as in the context of rapidly-growing inter-Asian cultural flows we are facing now. Also, moving beyond the selected texts as part of a literary/art genre, we will envision how these cultural productions are inseparable from our living surroundings and, how these texts shape social memories, traditional Asian values, gender roles, nationalisms, and historical traumas. Readings and media used in this course will be in English translations/subtitles.

HL2011 REPRESENTATIONS OF ASIA
AU:3

Prerequisite: HL1001

The focus of this module is on the filmic representations of Asia and Asians in Hollywood cinema. In studying films from the early 1900s to the current Asian "invasion" of Hollywood, we will locate these cultural representations in the history of Asian immigration in the United States, and will examine how American global adventurism has spawned racial discourses that help produce these representations. Filmic analysis in this module will cover the works of directors as diverse as D. W. Griffith, Frank Capra, Josef von Sternberg, Joshua Logan, Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Wayne Wang, Feng Xiaogang, and Quentin Tarantino.

HL2012 ASIAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

The course is structured historically, and our analysis will take into consideration the cultural conditions in which the works were created and initially interpreted. We will also bring more recent theories and debates about race, identity politics, and the national and political forces that lead to the construction of ethnic identity.

HL2015 WAR IN LITERATURE AND FILM
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course considers the manner in which art responds to war, and the ways in which war and violence are appropriated in both aesthetic and critical discourse. We will examine the centrality of war to human and civilisational experience, and also consider the conditions of inevitability that bind human experience to a deep-seated violent impulse. Issues raised by this course include, but are not confined to: the structural constitution of war the differences and similarities between war and violence the inherent ambivalence of war semantics, rhetorics and discourse of war artistic expression of war experience as ambiguating gesture Just War or just war visual vs textual representations.

HL2016 LITERATURE AND MADNESS
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course closely examines how novelists have represented madness in their writing as a means of therapy and/or social commentary. We begin by looking specifically at women and hysteria, and how a woman’s yearning for autonomy is often conflated with mental illness. The second half of the semester investigates male writers that have used madness to comment on the arbitrary nature of language and the confining parameters of social institutions. We will pay attention to how form is used to represent madness, and how madness is often used as a metaphor within literature.

HL2018 FANTASY FICTIONS
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Fantasy literature is perhaps one of the most controversial of literary genres--is it serious literature, worthy of study, or is it "popular," meant only for entertainment? What is at stake in such a categorization? Is "fantasy" mere escapism, or is it a serious critique of contemporary reality? The course will engage these and similar questions about the nature of literature and literary study; the standardization and formation of the literary canon; issues of literary merit and entertainment value; methods of social critique; and a continuing analysis of the aesthetic and intellectual agency afforded by escapism. The course will attend to the diversity of historical and sub-generic manifestations of the "fantasy" genre by looking at a wide range of texts and films. Possible texts include: Utopia; The Blazing World; Gulliver's Travels; Alice in Wonderland; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; The Lord of the Rings; and the Harry Potter series.

HL2020 CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

This course begins with the assumption that participants have engaged in some aspect of creative writing, particularly for the stage, and seeks to further develop one's understanding of the craft of writing in relation to theatre and live performance. You will explore various dramaturgical approaches in creating, researching and developing text for performances through solo as well as collaborative endeavours; experiment with ideas through practical work; and analyse a range of performance writing possibilities through critical review and self-reflection.

HL2021 LITERATURE OF EMPIRE
AU: 3
PrerequisiteHL1001
 

In this module we will be focusing on literature produced in response to the historical experience of empire. We will look at the way in which literary narratives have been used to legitimize the imperial project – justifying its ‘civilizing mission,’ reinforcing certain racial stereotypes and hierarchies, and contributing to an archive of knowledge on colonial subjects and territories. However, this complicity between literature and empire is only part of the story. We will also be exploring the ambivalence that so often haunts the peripheries of imperial narratives, and examining the way in which literature has served to critique colonial ideologies and practices. Our discussion will be wide-ranging and eclectic, covering three different centuries and five different empires. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include analyses of Hergé’s early Tintin comics and Michael Haneke’s critically acclaimed film Caché.

HL2022 SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Over the last few decades, South Asian literature in English has achieved a global prominence that is unique among postcolonial literatures. In this module we will be tracing the historical development of South Asian writing from the colonial period to the present-day – exploring, among other things, the impact of British colonial policy on its formation, the ongoing debate surrounding its use of an ‘imperial’ language, and the reasons behind its phenomenal popularity. We will also be discussing some of the social and political issues with which this literature engages, whether it be the caste system, communal violence, or the vagaries of the postcolonial nation-state. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include an analysis of the Bollywood film Lagaan, and will introduce students to a number of important theoretical concepts within the field of postcolonial studies.

HL2024 APPROACHES TO LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite:HL1001

What do literary scholars and critics do? How do they approach literature within specific contexts? How do they communicate with each other and with wider audiences? What are the differences between Area Studies, Ethnic and National Studies, Cultural Studies, and Comparative Studies of literature? What is the role of theory in literary study? These are some of the questions addressed in this module. Students will be exposed to various ways of reading and writing about literature, including New Criticism, literature and the other arts, structuralism and post-structuralism, new historicism, psychoanalytic and feminist theories, and ethical criticism in order to gain an understanding of the methodologies of literary analysis. Readings and screenings will include Kiss of the Spider Woman and Dirty Pretty Things.

HL2025 READING IN POETRY
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

The course explores the history of the poetic form, its various formal categories, as well as poetry’s place across various cultural spaces. It focuses on four major issues: (1) generic considerations in the ‘new’ world; (2) structural, technical and formal aspects of poetry; (3) cultural and aesthetic possibilities as resistance and endurance; and (4) the continued relevance of poetry. These will be conducted with close analytical readings and textual engagements in mind, with a view of charting the place of poetry in the larger context of artistic practice.

HL2026 READING DRAMA
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This subject will examine the major dramatic movements in drama from the Greeks through the present. Special attention will be given to how the theatrical concerns of one era influenced the developments of the next. Authors are likely to include Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, Norman, and Howe.

HL2027 EARLY AMERICAN LITERATURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

As we read we will consider the formulization of an "American" "Early" "Literature". What constitutes "America" before 1789? Are these texts "literary"? Does our study of these textsrequire a teleological perspective? What factors determined the canonization of only English language texts from a multi-lingual, multi-colonial, and native population? How has pre-revolutionary America been represented in the past and in our own time? How do these “secondary” histories determine what of the past gets preserved, celebrated, and canonized? What aspects of early America are forgotten in this process? What can we learn about contemporary American culture from these imaginative representations?

 HL2028 NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
 AU:

 Prerequisite: HL1001 

This course surveys the development of a distinctly American literary culture and history in the 19th century. In exploring this expanding terrain, we will encounter new genres and media, consider the impact of race and gender on ideas of freedom and democracy, and assess the formation of an American canon. Our goal is a critical familiarity with texts that have claimed a place in American literary history and the social movements that produced them.

HL2029 AMERICAN MODERNISM
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

This course analyses and interprets American culture mostly from the first half of the 20th century, including fiction, poetry, and film, looking at the way that the conditions of modernity engendered new forms that go beyond the earlier novel/romance dichotomy. We will study realism (Cather); naturalism in its classic, modernist, and Depression-era forms (London, Stein, Steinbeck, respectively); as well as classic modernists Eliot, Hemingway, and West, examining their experiments involving perspective, language, history, memory, and the surreal. We will study the dark filmic vision of film noir, focusing on patterns of corrupt morality, cold passion, and dehumanising modernity. The short fiction of the Southern Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor will be discussed in terms of the grotesque and the cultural division of country and city. We will read Naked Lunch, Burroughs shockingly experimental work examining power and addiction. We will conclude with a novel by Robinson that evokes a hybrid world of nature and domesticity through non-hierarchical, non-individualised discourse.

HL2030 POST 1945 AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Through the interpretation and study of selected works of American literature and culture from 1945 to the present, we will consider the ways that writers respond to changes in the economic, political, and social conditions of the United States during the postmodern era. While some writers reassert long-standing themes such as the individual’s quest for freedom defined against the constrictions of status-quo, domestic life (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Morrison, the Confessional Poets), others pose intellectual questions about language and meaning through metafictional innovation (Nabokov, Vonnegut, Barth) or confront national myths such as the American Dream (Dylan, Mamet) and the romance of the Western frontier (McCarthy). In an age where mass culture has replaced intellectual literacy, contemporary American authors ponder the place of the novelist in the world (DeLillo), reflect on the meaning of ethnic identity (Walker), and seek out a critical perspective from which to view the present.

HL2032 AFRICAN LITERATURE
AU
:3
Prerequisite
: HL1001

This module explores a diverse range of African literatures – including works from Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa. It will offer an historical account of the emergence and development of these national literatures, while also focusing on some of the major social and political issues they address. Of particular interest will be the transformative encounter with colonial modernity, the profound socioeconomic consequences of apartheid, and the various challenges faced by the postcolonial nation-state. We will also be discussing the significance of the oral tradition in African literature, and the controversy surrounding its use of English, the language of the colonizer. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include an analysis of the South African film Tsotsi, and will introduce students to a number of important theoretical concepts within the field of postcolonial studies.

HL2033 IRISH WRITING:ROMANTICISM TO MODERNISM
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Irish Writing: 1800 to Modernism provides an introduction to the history and remarkably rich literary tradition of Ireland in the critical period from 1800 to the birth of Modernism. The course will study how Irish culture reflected the different tensions and transformations of the period in Ireland and also how culture acted as a catalyst to political change. In addition to the most prominent literary achievements of the period, a number of different genres and will be studied in detail.

HL2036 VIRGINS AND VIXENS
AU
: 3

Prerequisite
: HL1001

We will be examining the representation of women during the Restoration and 18th century (1660-1800), roughly the span of the Enlightenment in England. With the scientific discoveries of Isaac Newton and others in the late 17th century, Western civilisation experienced an epistemological shift from an adherence to traditional structures of authority (church, crown, patriarchal family) to the age of empiricism and a privileging of reason, evidence, and experientially acquired knowledge espoused by such philosophers as John Locke. This crisis of authority (reason versus revelation, evidence versus faith), exacerbated by the political upheavals and constitutional debates in the wake of England's Civil Wars and the Glorious Revolution, sent shock waves through all levels of society, including the domestic. How did women-having few political rights, little financial independence, and existing as legal nonentities when married-respond to this new age of discovery? The title of the course is meant to indicate the binary opposition of "good" and "bad" women with which real, complex women had to work in order to survive in society. The course itself will problematise that opposition in an effort to understand how women in an uncertain but exciting age could form and articulate their voices-as images of God, as rational beings, as rejects and misfits, as companions, wives, mothers, and citizens-in an effort to contribute to the public and private spheres and establish their own dignity as members of society.

HL2037 HISTORY OF FILM
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course concentrates on the four aspects of film history: production, distribution, exhibition, and reception to give students a fuller range of. In the end, students will apply their skills to a close analysis of the historical context of a particular film, a case study of a film movement, and a broader interpretation of the past, present, and future of the cinematic experience.

HL2039 Theatre Workshop
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001/HZ9101
​Students will be encouraged at all times to explore cultural issues inherent in the texts and to interrogate those issues not only in relation to Ireland, but also in relation to themselves as Singaporeans in their interpretation of them. They will also develop a strong grasp of some of the foundational elements of theatre practice and dramaturgy.​
HL2040 ADAPTING THE CLASSICS
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

1. Introduction to the history and major themes of classical literature. 2. Examination and discussion of the implications of adapting classical texts. 3. Examination and discussion of the major adaptations of classical works. 4. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions. Each student will also write a literary analysis of about 1,800 words related the materials assigned in class.

HL2041 ASIAN HISTORICAL FICTION
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

1. Introduction to basic theoretical approaches to studying historical fiction. 2. Examination and discussion of historical and cultural contexts in Asian historical fiction. 3. Examination and discussion of the major authors and works in Asian historical fiction; introduction of interdisciplinary research in literary studies. 4. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions. Each student will also write a literary analysis of about 1800 words related the materials assigned in class.

HL2042 CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001      
​From Lewis Carroll's Alice books, which heralded a new "Golden Age" of children's literature, to Cold­ War era fantasy, comic songs, and Japanese anime, we will consider a variety of different texts and the notions of childhood they reflect and generate. Using Philip Nel and Lissa  Paul's seminal Keywords for Children's Literature  (2011), students  will develop the critical vocabulary necessary to discuss children's fiction, poetry, and film in its aesthetic, ideological, and intellectual contexts. Students will also cultivate a  strong  theoretical  framework for the  study of children's  literature  by engaging with field-defining scholarship by Jacqueline Rose, Perry Nodelman, and others.

HL2090 Special Topic in Literature I
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001   
​The specific subject-matter for this subject will depend on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  Emphasis is likely to be on a very specific thematic study.​

HL3001 FILM THEORY
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001                    

Does the cinema most resemble the stage, a painting, or a photograph? When is it like poetry? When do we treat it like a novel or short story? What is the relationship between cinema, television, video, digital arts, and other moving images? What sort of machine is it? Is it more like a picture frame, window on the world, mystic writing pad, or a mirror? Does it function like a language, an address, a puzzle, or a provocation? How should we examine it in terms of narrative, apparatus, and ideology? In terms of image and sound, style, genre, the film artist, and audience reception? What is the relationship between the cinema and democracy? These have been the primary questions throughout the history of film theory and will be the key concerns of this module. It seeks to introduce students to the history and debates of film theory from its beginnings to the contemporary period. Students will be exposed to various ways of addressing films and writing about the cinema, including formalist and realist theories, cultural studies approaches to cinema, semiotics, auteur theory, genre and star analysis, ideological critiques, and apparatus theory. Screenings will include examples from early cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, Bicycle Thieves, Perfumed Nightmare, Battle of Algiers, Citizen Kane, Rear Window, and Weekend.

HL3002 FILM, POLITICS AND ETHICS
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001  

Cinema, like all cultural products, is political in some way or other. By deploying race, gender, and class as critical categories of reading film, this course's approach seeks to examine the political and ideological implications and assumptions of film art as a popular cultural medium. Brief introductions to theories on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ideology, and class will provide the framework for the viewing of classic and contemporary film from different cinematic cultures.

HL3003 FILM & LITERATURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course is about more than just literature adaptations. In what ways, we shall ask, are texts transformed from one genre to another? If turning a book into a film is perhaps the most obvious form of what we understand under adaptation and what we conceive of as the most often expected link between literature and film, how do films impact on how we read? How does film adaptation feature in fiction, for example? In this module, we shall critically analyse the shifting, ambiguous, and yet creative, two-way relationship between film and literature.

HL3004 WORLD CINEMA
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course introduces students to the cinema of Asia. Focus is placed on the specific study of contemporary Asian films, so that by the end of the course, students will understand how these films compete in an increasingly globalized industry where audiences are exposed to a diverse range of world cinemas. Students will also be introduced to the political, institutional and cultural contexts behind the production and reception of regional cinemas. Films to be examined in the course shall include those from East, Southeast and South Asia.

HL3006 MODERN DRAMA
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This subject will trace a line of development throughout modern drama from realism and naturalism to absurdism and post-modernist theatre. Among others, dramatists will include Strindberg, Ibsen, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, Churchill, and Shepherd as well as contemporary Singaporean dramatist Kuo Pao Kun. In addition to understanding how changing theatrical trends embody changing epistemological, ontological and ideological attitudes, students will also develop a powerful comparative appreciation of the interconnected evolution of Asian and Western drama.

HL3007​ POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course explores competing versions of cosmopolitan and nationalitarian identity through a survey of important works by writers from nearby emerging economies (Malaysia and the Philippines). Among other matters, existential issues raised by urbanisation and industrial development will be addressed. The search for an idiom and imagery appropriate to a Southeast Asian locale, the challenge posed by primordialism, the issue of alternative modernities and the need to fashion a usable past from disparate material are other topics handled by the course. Students will be encouraged to formulate a first-cut analysis of where they place themselves with regards to these questions and concerns.

HL3008 POSTCOLONIAL WOMEN'S WRITING
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This module introduces students to a variety of selected women’s writings in English or in English translation. Texts to be studied range from the non-fictional such as letters and biographies, to poetry, short stories and novels from various countries in the region – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines. Situating the writings in their respective socio-cultural, political and historical contexts, the course will discuss issues such as the conditions of literary production and reception; whether “Southeast Asian women’s writing” is merely a geographical category, culturally embedded, or a valid and significant construct based on a shared, gendered “Southeast Asian women’s” experience precipitated by colonial and post-colonial urgencies; the extent to which these women’s narratives, and representations of their experience are necessarily feminist, and inescapably inscribed by patriarchal structures; the usefulness of Western feminist theories in approaching these texts and thus the need, perhaps, to go beyond feminist poetics and aesthetics.

HL3010 EUROPEAN LITERATURE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course explores two important traditions of European literature through a selection of works that span the continent from north (Norway) to south (Italy) and east (Russia) to west (Germany, France and Portugal). All texts of course will be read in English translation.The first tradition we shall look at is the Fantastic, which might be described as continental Europe's counterpart to Gothic literature. The German Romantic Fantastic is illustrated by two of E. T. A. Hoffmann?s bizarre and disturbing `modern fairy tales, and the Russian genius for this genre, by Bulgakov's equally zany masterpiece in which the Devil arrives in Stalinist Moscow accompanied, amongst others, by a very mischievous cat ...Our second topic is the lucidity with which early Modernist continental European writers explore the translation of vivid personal experience into literature. A selection of Baudelaire's poems illustrates the origins of European Modernism. Hamsun's short but powerful Hunger illustrates the birth of the modern novel. And we shall conclude with a selection of short texts by Fernando Pessoa, one of the most extraordinary, but also one of most accessible poets of the 20th century.

HL3011 SCIENCE FICTION:ORIGINS TO PARODY
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Tracing its origins from 19th-century writing on the possibilities and threats both of technology and the newly established sciences to its generic reconstruction and intertextual revisiting over the centuries, the analysis of its most prominent as well as of recently rediscovered works aims to illustrate how science fiction has transformed literature and film. In this, it also seeks to map the genre's most defining topoi: travel through space, time, and parallel universes; experimental technology; alien life; testing the boundaries of the mind and manipulating the body (cloning). Science fiction has always been experimental in its technique as well as in its critique of social, psychological, and scientific definitions of selfhood, and its study taps into encompassing explorations of epistemological as well as ontological anxieties.

HL3012 THE DISCOURSE OF LOVE
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

We will begin with Plato's Symposium, and move on to recent theorisations and philosophies of love. More than simply addressing thematic concerns, this course will approach love as a philosophy and a discursive practice, as well as address the issues of subjectivity, the Self-Other relation and difference, all of which are central to love. Our final aim is to evaluate the potential for love to serve as a discourse of alterity. We will be covering a variety of discourses and texts: philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism and literary theory; film and literary works by both male and female authors and poets. 

HL3013 POSTMODERNISM
AU
: 3
Prerequisite:
HL1001

It is rare that a literary category attracts such a diversity of response and even rarer that the term is used with sufficient insight or precise understanding of what it might mean, if indeed it means anything. In an attempt to unravel the meaning of the term, this course will consider a variety of texts (literature, prose essays, film etc) in an effort to locate a meaningful working definition of this most evasive of literary and cultural categories.

HL3014 LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

This module explores a diverse range of Latin American literatures – including works from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. It will offer an historical account of the emergence and development of these national literatures, while also focusing on some of the major social and political issues they address. Of particular interest will be the transcultural ‘contact zone’ created by colonialism, the ideological and socioeconomic consequences of slavery, and the enduring conflict between tradition and modernity. We will also be discussing the early chronicles of discovery and conquest, the significance of magical realism as a mode of representation, and the subgenre of the dictator novel. Although literature will be our primary focus, the course will include an analysis of the Brazilian film City of God, and will introduce students to a number of important theoretical concepts within the field of postcolonial studies.​

HL3016 GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES
AU
:3

Prerequisite
: HL1001 
 

This course examines the intersections of gender, sexuality, place, ability, status, race, and class in the cultural construction of bodies and how we respond to bodies. It focuses on the relationship between the normal and the abject to highlight how that relationship influences which bodies arouse our desire and move us in disgust. We will consider both mainstream and independent filmmaking and other visual arts in order to more fully investigate the rhetorics of the wondrous, the sentimental, the exotic, the realistic, the inscrutable, and the repulsive in regard to these bodies. More than just looking at images of and identities, we will concentrate on theories of the production and perpetration of the bodies we see and how we see them.

HL3017 THE RISE OF THE NOVEL
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001(Corequisite)

18th-century English readers recognised the "novel" as a new literary form that borrowed from previous narrative traditions such as the spiritual autobiography, romance, the picaresque tale, criminal biography, and travel literature. As a genre the "novel" raises questions of authority, tradition, convention, and innovation: What distinguishes creation from bastardisation? What types of "mixing" are acceptable and which are not? How is something recognized as genuinely new and how is it incorporated into an existing tradition? The issue of identity is central to the "novel" as a literary form and is reflected in its subject matter. The genre enabled authors and readers to explore the subjectivity of the individual self, the constitution of identity within a specific environment, and the relationship between "self" and "other." From the new worlds made available by technological innovations such as the microscope and telescope to Robinson Crusoe's disorientation at seeing a mysterious footprint in the sand, encountering the strange, the foreign, and the shocking broadened the perspectives and possibilities of literature in novel ways. The course will cover the development of the 18th- century English novel as a narrative form while analyzing the different literary choices and innovations used to represent identity and its response to novelty. We will study how novelists used and adapted their narrative form to negotiate conflicts of class, nation, gender, family, religion, and literary tradition. By the end of the course, students will have a sound familiarity with the history and development of the 18th-century English novel and will have acquired the vocabulary and analytical tools to think critically about the form and function of the novel.

HL3020 ETHNICE AMERICAN LITERATURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

In this course, we’ll study works of literature by African-American, Jewish-American, Asian- American, Chicana, and native American authors, paying particular attention to the way that identity is materialized in these texts. Beneath its rhetoric of diversity and acceptance, America has been and remains a country divided by racism. These texts examine the effects of ignoring, exaggerating, Othering, or exoticizing racial identity, and provide an expanded view of American cultural history, bringing various discursive strategies, genres, and perspectives to bear on it, including sentimentalism, historical analysis, modernist surrealism, anthropological folklore, realism, symbolism, stream-of-consciousness narration, children’s perspective, and satire.

HL3024 CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S WRITING
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

This course will explore a range of contemporary women's writing. Two seminars will be devoted to the study of each text; one seminar will focus primarily on the text as a exemplary of "women's writing", thus dealing with the politics of gender identity, female desire and sexuality, while the next will address the text as exemplary of contemporary writing, dealing with narrative language, postmodern reality and questions of historical representation, as well as the construction of the shattered/ split postmodern subject.

HL3029 IMAGINING KING ARTHUR 
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​We will study major Arthurian narratives of the European Middle Ages, primarily of the twelfth through fifteenth centuries, and one modern version of the story (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court). In addition to attending to literary issues of genre and style, we will pay special attention to the larger question of what cultural values various contributions to the Arthurian tradition reflect, promote, or call into question. Topics to be discussed include historicity and textual authority, the role of chivalric ideology in medieval social and political life, the cult of “courtly love” and its attendant gender dynamics, and the impact of social change on the reception of the Arthur story in later periods.

HL3030 MAJOR AUTHOR STUDY: SHAKESPEARE
AU:3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Issues discussed will include Shakespeare's depiction of interiority and interior life, response to social and economic changes, and treatment of genre, with special attention to the question of the so-called "problem plays."​

HL3033 THE WORLD OF MUSICALS AND INTERCULTURAL THEATRE
AU: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001 
 

This course examines how some of the remarkable theatre works, ranging from Shakespearean plays, avant-garde theatre to Broadway musicals, etc., have been translated and reoriented in the context of transnationalism and globalisation. The notion of "intercultural" as well as "transnationalism" both refers to a physical movement that transcends the national boundary and the possible effects when multiple influences and strands of cultures come into play via a theatrical performance. In this course, we will be examining the intersection between interculturality and theatre through various geographical movements of performances, usually in the forms of touring shows or international theatre festivals. Additionally, we will attempt to explicate the complex and at times contradictory appropriation of the term "intercultural theatre" by local theatre and cultural producers.

HL3034 IRISH LITERATURE
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

To survey the achievement of Irish writing in English and translations of Irish literature is to realise what a wide range of human experience is involved. It is expressed brilliantly in so many different ways by so many very different individuals. Many writers grappled with the notion of Irishness, and indeed many engaged in polemics. Others expressed the human condition without political engagement. Some transmuted the Celtic past; some found their inspiration in foreign cultural movements and ideas. Some claimed with Yeats that ‘ancient salt is [the] best packing,’ while others, like Joyce and Beckett, were manifestly experimental. We shall contextualise the history of Irish writing with the history of its politics, society and ideas. This survey is chronological: from the eighteenth century, celebrated for profound philosophical, aesthetic and political thought, renowned for the writings of Jonathan Swift, George Berkeley and Edmund Burke, we move through the Romanticism of the nineteenth century, with its expressions of nationality and individuality, of authenticity and inauthenticity, of the Gothic and the rational, of the non-conformist New Woman and the conforming ultramontane, through the modernity, and after, of the twentieth century, to the neo-classicism of the spirited present.

HL3035 MAGICAL REALISM
AU
: 3
Prerequisite: HL1001

Magical realism has been described as ‘the single most important trend in contemporary international fiction’. It was a term that was first used in Germany in 1925 to describe a kind of painting that invested everyday objects and scenes with a sense of ‘mystery’ or spirituality. From the late 1940s, it was adapted and popularized by Latin American writers and critics as a literary style. And over the last two or three decades it has become ‘globalized’ – surfacing in narratives from all over the world, but particularly those produced in non-Western countries. In this module we will be analysing magical realism as a transnational mode of representation – discussing some of the different valences it assumes depending on the social, historical and political circumstances of its production.

HL3036 THE HISTORY OF THE BOOK 
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
This course explores the influence of the book as a force in history and literature from the medieval period to the present. It will include hans-on examination of books and manuscript fragments as well as discussion of books as objects, social forces and vehicles for text.

HL3037 APPROACHES TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES 
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​Look closely at the role of the humanities in current environmental debates. We approach climate change holistically by analysing contemporary creative sources - including literature, films and documentaries, visual art, and sculpture - alongside environmental history, public science writing, and climate communications research.

HL3038 THEATRE OF THE ABSURD
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​Martin Esslin coined Theatre of the Absurd to group together a substantial number of post-World War II dramatic works that questioned realism and challenged the conventional dramatic form.' There was no Absurdist movement, and most playwrights whom we consider Absurdists did not identify themselves as such. Nevertheless, the designation is useful to begin thinking about their shared concern for what it means to be human in a time of social and political upheaval. You will be provoked to consider this central question as you learn more about the playwrights' dramatizations of habit, time, humour and suffering. The course will train you to close read Absurdist plays, and develop an appreciation for theirI destabilising effects on actors and the audience member. By the end of the course, you are expected to be able to differentiate between the social, historical,philosophical factors that affect the writing and production of absurdist drama. The seminar format will facilitate discussions as you share your reading, viewing, and performance/staging experiences with the class. Course Content The discomfort and frustration evoked by the Theatre of the Absurd force character(s) and the audience to confront the question, "What does it mean to be human?" Each week, we will look closely at one play, and if a recording of a production is available, we will view snippets in class to give you an idea of how each play could be staged. You will also perform scenes from the play in 1, class. The course will provoke you to consider what it means to be human as we look closely at absurdist portrayals of habit, time, humour and suffering. 

HL3039 MAJOR AUTHOR STUDY: SAMUEL BECKETT 
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​One of the most important twentieth century writers, Samuel Beckett’s prose, plays and poems continue to influence writers, readers and audiences all over the world. Although he is well known for the play Waiting for Godot, most of his works remain cryptic to the uninitiated. This module is for those who would like to dive deeper into the Beckettian world. In it, you will discover a poetics of failure, an ethics of non-relation, and perhaps most importantly what it could mean to be at the limit of the human.

HL3040 Gender and Diversity
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​This module aims to bring together students from a range of disciplines for a series of classes on gender and diversity. Set within a discursive framework of predominantly post-1970s critical theory, the module explores a selection of formative moments for identity politics in the post-structuralist milieu, such as second-wave feminism, queer theory and intersectionality. The module will explore the intersectional constructions of gendered identity according to a range of discourses that concern femininity, masculinity, transgendered identity, disability, ethnicity, class, nationality and virtual identities. It will consider the ways in which these discourses underpin contemporary debates about diversity. Equally, the module will underline the ways in which an engagement with diversity and intersectionality has enabled many current debates about gendered identities, those debates characterized by a focus on subjectivity, difference, marginalization, discrimination and an interrogation of heteronormativity.      ​

HL3041 Global Cities in World Literature
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​By scrutinising a selection of texts from global cities with different histories, we will explore the roles and dynamics of literary texts in global cultural production, commodification, circulation and consumption. We will examine how these texts can be read to reveal global city dynamics, including for issues of precarity, inequality, ecological degradation, heritage, security, gentrification and various kinds of discrimination. How does Isa Kamari historicise the peripheralisation of Orang Seletar communities? How does Alecky Blythe give space for the voices of Hackney in her play about the 2011 London Riots? How does Ivan Vladislavić grapple with the transformation of Johannesburg in the wake of the fall of apartheid? How are these different forms of texts produced, circulated and consumed?​
HL3042 Gothic Literature
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​This course will teach you the main characteristics of Gothic literature, as well as the cultural and historical contexts of its development. In addition to this, you will gain an in-depth understanding of some of the main authors associated with Gothic literature and their key texts. Students interested in literary depictions of horror, trauma, fanaticism, paranoia, and guilt should take this course. Students interested in the way historical events have shaped literary culture should also take this course. The main value of this course is that it concentrates on a major genre within literature in English. ​
HL3090 Special Topic in Literature II
AU
3
Prerequisite: HL1001
​The specific subject-matter for this subject will depend on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  Emphasis is likely to be on a very specific thematic study.​

HL4002 MAJOR AUTHOR STUDY: CHAUCER
AU
:4
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is not only the best-known work of medieval English literature but also one of the most diverse, containing within it the full range of medieval genres, from romance to saints' lives to racy tales of amorous conquest. The poem has been compared to a gothic cathedral in its elaborateness of detail and inclusion of seemingly contrary elements. Reading the Tales is thus an ideal introduction to the complex thought, culture, and history of the later Middle Ages-an age deeply different from our own that nevertheless provided the basis for the modern world. In understanding the Tales then, we will try to understand how the Middle Ages both differs from and relates to our own present. You will be reading in Middle English, but no prior experience is expected or required.

HL4005 LITERATURE CRITICISM
AU4
Prerequisite: HL1001

Although literary theory as a recognizable discipline is relatively new, we ascribe to it a history on the basis of two millennia of largely philosophical, scattered inquiries into the structure, meaning, and sociopolitical effects of literary work. A small number of such inquiries dominated thinking about literature well into the 19th century and laid the groundwork for the emergence in the 20th century of the discipline - a discipline remarkable for the fact that it has been in crisis from the moment of its emergence. Much of this course will be taken up with an attempt to show how and explain why attempts at theoretical explication of the literary reproduce the aporias associated with tropological systems. We will examine, for instance, “the logical tension” in theoretical work “between figure and grammar” or the “aporia” between “performance and cognition” [de Man, Allegories of Reading] by attending to the necessary appearance of such tensions and aporias in philosophical works of literary theory and aesthetics from the ancient Greeks to the 20th Century. This approach will allow us meaningfully to address fundamental questions about the aesthetic, political, and ethical character of both literary writing and critical reading.

HL4006 READING TEXTS:ADVANCED CRITICAL THEORY
AU
4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course explores the intersection between reading and thinking through the notion of the question. The implication of this is an exploration with no necessary finality, no essential answer; at least none that we can be sure of. At best, we can gesture towards an answer, posit one, take a position on one: in some way, we have no choice but to; otherwise we would not be reading at all. In this course, we will explore various approaches towards reading; approaching them as texts. Hence, what is called into question is the very status of reading as reading, and by extension, of thinking as thinking.

HL4008 POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES
AU
4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This module introduces students to a broad and challenging range of literary texts from different parts of the modern Commonwealth – Africa, the Caribbean, India, Canada, Australia. It explores crucial issues related to the growth of new literatures in English since the mid-twentieth century, for example, representations of history, nation, and cultural identity; gender politics; crosscultural translation; migrant aesthetics. It examines the significant role of postcolonial theory in the field, the enabling as well as problematic aspects of this discourse.

HL4009 POPULAR LITERATURE AND CULTURE
AU
4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This module introduces the theoretical question of the relationship between ‘literature and serious culture’ to the (less-literary) study of ‘popular culture’. The module examines the following key terms (& sets of oppositions): (i) high culture vs. low culture; (ii) pop culture vs. popular (or mass) culture (the 2 terms are not the same); (iii) popular culture as resistance vs. ‘pop’/‘mass’ culture as consumption; and (iv) class and popular culture.

HL4010 FEMINIST STUDIES
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

By first tracing the ideas of major feminist scholars, this course assesses the impact of feminist theory on the contemporary study of gender identity, politics, and representation, particularly in relation to literary and cultural theory. Students will also engage theoretical and literary texts, covering a variety of genres and media, from emerging disciplines such as gender studies, masculinity studies, queer studies, and sexuality studies.

HL4011 MODERN POETRY
AU
4
Prerequisite: HL1001

In this module, students will encounter some of the most important and influential poets of the twentieth century and will be encouraged to consider aspects of style, form and social responsiveness by way of close textual analyses – which will be the dominant methodology of the module. The poems will also be read in the context of some of the major poetic movements of the century, including War Poetry, Modernism, Imagism, Postmodernism, the Confessional mode, the Beats, and the New Poetry. Some of the dominant themes of Modern Poetry will be considered, such as aesthetic motivations, the role and function of art, and the provenance of modern literature. Students are expected to come away from the module thoroughly familiar with issues relating to art and violence, art and time, poetry and the consciousness, the role of the poet in contemporary times, as well as having rigorously and critically engaged with the idea of ‘the modern’ itself.

HL4012 ADVANCED STUDIES IN DRAMA
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This subject will explore the major dramatic traditions (Including, Greek, Elizabethan, Realism, and Epic) in tandem with the major theorists of dramatic form (including Aristotle, Nietzsche, Esslin and Brecht). Special attention will be given to the importance of drama within the history of ideas.

HL4013 ADVANCED STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
AU
: 4
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

The specific focus of this final year subject will be decided by students' special interests contingent on divisional expertise. As an advanced subject, the focus is likely to be on a specialised literary and/or cultural topic, author study, national literature or generic study. It will be offered as an examinable special subject.

HL4014 ADVANCED STUDIES IN FILM
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001 

What do films do? Why do they affect us the way they do? How do they make us think and act differently after we have experienced them? In this course, we will compare and contrast a number of films and philosophies to see what light their intersections and divergences shed on these questions. We will consider how the cinema relates to reality and how the cinema creates its own reality. As well, we will consider if any reality translates across time and space. We will examine the impact of filmic sound and vision on viewers? selves, consciousness, reactive thought processes, writing, and overall worldview. We will consider film theories and philosophies from classical, modern, and contemporary periods, and a large number of films from around the globe from the beginnings of filmmaking to today. In the end with luck and patience we will understand better what happens at the interface of the cinema and its audience/viewers.

HL4015 ADVANCED STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE
AU
:4
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

​Less well-known than the rhyming poetry that has dominated English verse from Chaucer onwards, alliterative works are nonetheless remarkable for their complexity and range. In style, they recall the native poetic tradition of Old English while extending that tradition in ways that draw upon the unique poetic resources of the English Language. We will read a wide variety of these works in order to explore the range of effects that alliteration can achieve, from the stately verse Beowulf to the lively satire of William Langland. The latter half of the course will be devoted to the continuing role of alliteration in modern verse from the 19th century to the present.

HL4016 ADVANCED STUDIES IN RENAISSANCE LITERATURE
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

The term "renaissance," meaning "rebirth", was popularised by Jacob Burckhardt in the19th century, and has since then been inseparable from the idea that a new kind of European individual emerged between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, along with humanism, capitalism, Protestantism, empirical science and European imperialism. Burckhardt was writing about Catholic Italy, however, and the individuals this course will examine lived in England, under absolutist Tudor and Stuart monarchs, during a time when the Protestant reformation was giving rise to new democratic ideologies. These writers witnessed the systematic demolition of English Catholicism, and of the feudal society that it entailed, by Henry VIII and his children. The ensuing tension between monarchy and democracy resulted in the English civil war, a conflict which produced, among other things, Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost. The texts chosen for this course demonstrate that, despite the excitement produced by new discoveries in art, science and geography, the emotion of loss suffuses the literature of the century leading up to the civil war, and this must qualify any notion that the history of the English renaissance is an unambiguous progress-narrative. Rather, it is a period fraught with contradictions, contradictions that enabled the production of some unique works of literary art.

HL4017 ADV STUDIES IN RESTORATION AND EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY LITERATURE
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

We will study canonical examples of English poetry, drama, and prose fiction using thematic foci as entry points to understanding the structure and meaning of fictional works written during the period 1660-1800. In order to historically contextualize these works, we will study major developments in England during this period, including evolutions in national identity;challenges to social hierarchies of class, race, and gender; and innovations in literary forms and genres. We will contextualize literary texts, choices, and practices by analyzing them in terms of contemporary philosophical, moral, and political theories.

HL4018 ADVANCED STUDIES IN ROMANTISM
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

​Literature of the romantic period is characterized by the various ways in which it challenges the assumptions    and conventions of the preceding century, thus extending the boundaries of human understanding and experience. It foregrounds powerful appetites and obsessive, even compulsive behaviour, best illustrated by the succession of daemonic others that appear in otherwise very different texts. HL4018 examines the nature of transgression and the role and function of the daemonic in some landmark works of Romatic literature. It is divided into three units. The first unit examines the relation between shame, guilt and creation through a close reading of two of Blake's early prophetic books. The second unit explores two very different examples of overreaching. In Goethe's Faust, possibly the single most important work of the romantic era, the eponymous hero is torn between knowledge and carnal pleasure. In Ivanhoe, it is not the hero but the antagonist who is torn between comparable desires. And the third unit contrasts two very different novels: Balzac's Pere Goriot, which explores a Faustian pact made within an emphatically social context, and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, which is possibly the most disturbing novel ever written about ungovernable passions.

HL4019 ADVANCED STUDIES IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course allows students to take a more focused approach to Victorian literature and culture. By providing a thematic, rather than a chronological, introduction to a number of 19th-century literary texts, it aims to show that the shifts in literary representations at the time were part of an extremely versatile cultural scene that belies any retrospective typecasting of "Victorianism." The comparison of canonical Victorian works and only recently reprinted material, primarily by long forgotten nineteenth-century women writers, will help us to understand the literary developments that engendered a plethora of controversies, both at the time and in its wake, brought out such a versatility of works, and perhaps above all, created the novel genre as the Victorian era's most popular, critical, and representative form of cultural expression.

HL4020 ADVANCED STUDIES IN MODERNIST LITERATURE
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

​This course looks at the aesthetics of modernism in relation to turn-of-the-century technological advances that changed auditory and visual perception. In particular, we will think about how mechanical reproduction, which was integral to photography, film and the phonography, influenced modernist writers. By closely examining the novels of James Joyce, Virgina Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, Alfred Doblin and John Dos Passos, we will question how modernist writers made use of perception-enhancing technologies both thematically and formally in their writing.

HL4023 ADVANCED STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE
AU:
4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course deepens understanding of American literature by engaging with challenging works of fiction and poetry that experiment with form and also engage with the nation's history, in order to produce a critical perspective of the twentieth century, especially in terms of how industrialization and modernization have led a to crisis in subjectivity that demands a revised understanding of ontology and moral foundations.

HL4024 ADVANCED STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE
AU:
Prerequisite: HL1001

​This module seeks to investigate various fictional images of the contemporary world. The contemporary, as it appears in the novels on this course, is multi-faceted and represents a truly cosmopolitan series of landscapes. These authors are alert to the strains of contemporary music, influenced by film and television, conscious of the prevalence of visual imagery in society and are keenly aware of the multi-racial/religious natures of their cities and towns. Contemporary British writers are deeply aware of international intellectual and artistics developments and the sheer variety of narrative approaches testify to the major contributions made by recent writers to the contemporary novel. Thus, it is possible to consider their work as representative of contemporary European society, while being conscious of profound threads of connection with the idea of the contemporary beyond the borders of Britain.

HL4028 SCIENCE & LITERATURE
AU:4
Prerequisite: HL1001

This course will investigate various treatments of science by literature according to both traditional and contemporary (postmodern) theories within the philosophy of science. According to Jean Francois Lyotard, scientific knowledge has traditionally been legitimated for being either emancipatory, or according to how it assists in the realisation of a unified scientific whole. Texts by Ibsen and Glaspell provide an opportunity for investigating the poignancy of the first of these legitimation narratives, while texts by Ursula LeGuin and John Banville will help us evaluate the second legitimation narrative. Finally, we will conclude the semester by questioning whether scientific knowledge is, as Foucault suggests, linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it. A regime of truth. Rlevant texts to this discussion are Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and Darren Aronofsky's Pi.

HL4030 SCOTTISH LITERATURE
AU: 4
Prerequisite: HL1001 (Mutually exclusive to HL3031)
 

This course will introduce you to the main themes and characteristics of Scottish literature from the Enlightenment period, through Modernism, to the present day. The course will trace the vast transformations undergone in Scotland in recent history and study how literature has both reacted to and driven these changes. We will study the historical backgrounds to the texts, discuss questions of national identity and look at Scotland’s contribution to modern philosophy. The course will include poetry and prose from the nation’s three languages, Gaelic (alongside translations), English, and Scots. Authors covered include Robert Burns, James Hogg, Walter Scott, David Hume, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Hugh MacDiarmid, Irvine Welsh, and James Kelman.

HL4031 COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
AU: 4
Prerequisite: HL1001 (Mutually exclusive to HL3009)

The aim of this course is twofold: to introduce students to some of the theoretical issues related to the study of Comparative Literature; and to offer, through the study of a range of literary works, a consideration of various cultural, religious and intellectual traditions in an attempt to establish how they compare and contrast. Primary course matter will include cross-cultural influences, "nationalist" literary styles, comparative representations of consciousness, ancient to modern literary traditions, and an exploration of the possibility of shared, intertextual literary and cultural heritages. Primary literary texts will be selected from a wide geographical and cultural base, across genres and historical periods and religious traditions. 

HL4032 URBAN CULTURE ASIA
AU: 4
Prerequisite: HL1001 (Mutually exclusive to HL2014)

This course seeks ways to explicate variable, contested, and multi-layered features of urban cultures in Asian societies. The question of urban Asia, or Asian modernity acquires new significance at the current moment, as the impact of globalisation and advancement of digital technology have created a thriving East Asian cultural market and active exchanges of pan-Asian popular cultures among different Asian locations. Looking into various forms of urban culture in contemporary Asian societies theatres, films, street performances, demonstrations, national campaigns, ads, fashion, sporting events, etc. Students will be engaged in critical discussions about how people experience patterns of national/cultural expressions that are not readily reduced to fixed, static narrative descriptions. Active class participation is extremely crucial.

HL4033 MAJOR AUTHOR STUDY: JAMES JOYCE
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

​This course will cover the main texts of the key figure of literary Modernism, James Joyce. In addition to studying these texts - Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939) - in great detail​, Joyce will be considered in the contexts of Irish history, Irish Writing, and European Modernism. The development of Joyce as a writer will be charted and the styles and techniques he used will be examined. Joyce's interpretations of history, literature and philosophy will also be studied.

HL4034 BRITISH-ASIAN LITERATURE
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001 (Mutually exclusive to HL2013)

This course will examine some of the narratives that dominate the field of British-Asian fiction. It will look at how writers negotiate their location within and between different social formations. Where relevant, it will explore the existential and social/familial dilemmas addressed by the writing (e.g., absorptionism versus enclavism, inter-generational conflict). How minority cultural production unsettles an assumed homology between race, culture and nation will be examined, as well as the sense in which British-Asian writing widens the cultural and semantic parameters of Britishness. Links with postcolonial studies and globalisation studies will be made where appropriate.

HL4035 PRACTICING THEORY: LITERATURE AND MEANING
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
 

Critical Theory is a dynamic and stimulating field encompassing diverse intellectual approaches to issues of meaning, representation, identity, power and ideology. This course draws on a wide variety of critical theories that explore questions pertinent to literary study without necessarily tracing a history of literary criticism.

The central concern of this course is to raise the students’ awareness of how meaning is produced in contemporary culture and society. By focusing on issues of reality and representation, ideology and identity, humanity and animality, and gender and sexuality the course enables students to develop the skills to better understand the application of critical theory and cultural studies approaches to contemporary literary, cultural and social practices and institutions. By engaging in close reading and discussion of a number of theoretical and literary texts, students are invited to re-think apparently self-evident categories, such as literature and theory, form and content, and authorship and identity.

HL4036 LITERATURE AND MEDICINE
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
 
​Literature and Medicine seeks to present health as a contested term with a continually evolving set of principles and meanings. The nature, causes, and meaning of states of health and sickness is determined not only by physical symptoms but influenced by class, gender, and race, and is perceived differently by patients, practitioners, and policy-makers. Twentieth-century British authors such as Ian McEwan, A.S. Byatt, Ali Smith, James Kelman, David Lodge, and Will Self offer a cultural history of the present that is united by a particular concern with the myths and metaphors that contribute to our un-derstanding of health and sickness. Accordingly Literature and Medicine guides students through a series of literary texts that engage with contemporary issues of health and sickness and signal the inadequacy of any understanding of health that is not culturally, historically, and geographically situated. Literature and Medicine uncovers the ways in which twentieth-century British authors urge us to reclaim the narrative of the individual sick person and reconsider what it means to be healthy and what it means to be sick in the twenty-first century.
HL4037 WRITING THE SELF
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
​This course will explore the processes involved in writing about the self, integrating analysis of the autobiographical techniques of major writers with a practical understanding of the resources of the writer through workshop exercises and assignments.
HL4038 ADVANCED STUDIES IN POSTCOLONIAL LITERATURE​
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
Advanced Studies in Postcolonial Literature highlights the challenges faced by writers from the global south, namely domestication/exoticism which denies and subverts alterity. Such concerns are linked to the increasingly popular sub-genre, “postcolonial gothic”, which is read as an ambivalent means to circumvent commodification. Encoun-ters with the uncanny/unheimlich (unhomely) and the abject in these texts unveil deep-seated anxieties regarding race, gender, class, and power, and these are collated with the way that the gothic reconfigures or destabilizes identity, especially as it relates to larger notions of nationhood, history, and belonging. Texts may include Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008), Raja Rao’s Kanthapura (1938/1970), Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, and Beth Yahp’s The Crocodile Sea.
HL4039 Advanced Studies in Children's Literature
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
​Identifying a series of critical concepts essential to the conceptualization and production of early children’s literature (among them easiness, gradation, and abridgment), we will consider how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writers have sought to convey challenging themes to young audiences as comprehensibly, appealingly, and, at times, intensively as possible. How is the threat of child mortality treated in the New-England Primer’s rhyming alphabet (1727) and Christina Rossetti’s verse parable Goblin Market (1862)? How do Isaac Watts and George MacDonald respond differently to the challenge of introducing young readers to Christian theology? What taxonomic comparisons might we locate between John Newbery’s eighteenth-century compendiums and Victorian children’s magazines? This course will also develop students’ skills in using archival databases such as Eighteenth-Century Collections Online and Nineteenth-Century Collections Online.​
HL4040 Literature and Art
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
​HL4040 explores connections between literature and painting. It focuses on four major issues: (1) the similarities and differences between works belonging to each of these genres; (2) the manner in which literary text responds to visual texts (3) the principle of literature as an art form (4) art and representation (and it’s opposite non-representation)​
HL4041 Studies in Art Criticism and Culture
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001​
​It ​​​will provide a historical survey of art criticism’s development and introduce different critical approaches to writing about art and culture. The course focuses on (1) historical origins and modern development of art criticism (2) concepts, theories and philosophies underpinning major schools/bodies of thought in art criticism (3) the relationship between text and works of art/film/architecture (4) developing an approach to critical thinking and writing about art and culture. ​
​​HL4090 Special Topic in Literature III
AU: 4 
Prerequisite: HL1001
​The specific subject-matter for this subject will depend on the coordinating lecturer, in response to student needs and divisional expertise at any given time.  Emphasis is likely to be on a very specific thematic study.​
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