20 credits at level HE4
An introduction to contemporary theoretical and critical approaches to the study of popular culture and, more specifically, popular fiction.
Exploring a diverse range of popular fiction sub-genres, identifying the narrative strategies and generic devices distinctive to each.
Encouraging students towards a greater awareness of the high culture/low culture divide and to discuss issues of "literariness" and "non-literariness" as pertaining to contemporary popular fiction.
Developing an understanding of the gendering of genre fiction.
Exploring popular sub-genres and readerly preconceptions re. popular writing (using extracts from romance, horror, historical adventure, science fiction)
Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: masculinist traditions of the detective genre; class context and the aesthetics of detection
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: science fiction, subjectivity and technological dystopias
Stephen King, Carrie: horror and the pleasures of fear; defamiliarising the fairytale
Mills and Boon and sentimental romance fiction
Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones's Diary: chick-lit and the career girl novel
Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch: the autobiographical form, laddishness and fandom
Minette Walters, Acid Row: tabloid fiction or contemporary critique
J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: fantasy fiction
Fourteen three hour seminars based on detailed discussion of texts set for reading, incorporating mini-lecture, tutor-led discussion and some student-led discussion. The remainder of the 200 hours to be used for preparatory reading, preparation and production of written assignments.
The module will be assessed via two items of assessment:
One essay of 1,500 words requiring students to offer a comparative analysis of two extracts taken from alternative types of popular writing.
A journal of approximately 3,000 words, requiring students to make a journal entry for each of the sub-genres studied on the module. Students will be encouraged to offer a personalised and self-reflective account of their encounters with each text. Students should also endeavour to integrate some critical materials into each entry, using a secondary critical point of view as their interpretative springboard.
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||have acquired a basic understanding of contemporary analytical and theoretical approaches to the study of popular fiction||employ rudimentary theoretical and critical terms and techniques accurately in an analytical context|
|2.||have developed a comprehension of the signficance of gender in the production and reception of popular fiction||give attention to issues of gender stereotyping and non-conformity in the analytical treatment of texts|
|3.||have developed the ability to reflect upon and critically analyse popular fiction||offer evidence of review and self-reflection in relation to the topic of popular fiction in the journal|
|4.||have gained a basic working knowledge of learning resources and IT search facilitites available||research relevant topics as evidenced by appropriately citing secondary materials in written assignmenta|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||1,500 word comparative essay||journal|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
No restrictions apply.
I. A. Bell, Watching the Detectives: Essays on Crime Fiction. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1990)
Clive Bloom, Cult Fiction: Popular Reading and Pulp Theory (Basingstoke:Macmillan, 1996)
Clive Bloom, Bestsellers: Popular Fiction since 1900 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002)
Carol J. Clover, Men, Women and Chainsaws (London: BFI, 1992)
Bridget Fowler, The Alienated Reader: Women and Romantic Literature in the Twentieth Century(London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991)
Kevin McCarron, "The Family's Value: The Parent and Child in Point Horror" Diegesis: Journal of the Association for Research in Popular Fictions 6 (Spring 2000)
Scott McCracken, Pulp: Reading Popular Fiction (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1998)
Francis Mulhern, Culture/Metaculture (London: Routledge, 2000)
Susan Rowland, From Agatha Christie to Ruth Rendell: British Women Writers in Detective and Crime fiction (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2001)
John Storey, Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: an Introduction
(Harlow : Pearson, 2001)
Imelda Whelehan, Overloaded: Popularculture and the future of Feminism (London: The Women's Press, 2000)
Imelda Whelehan, "High Anxiety: Feminism, Chicklit and Women in the Noughties" Diegesis: Journal of the Association for Research in Popular Fictions 8 (Winter 2004)
|Host Subject Group:||Creative Studies|
|User Name||Date Accessed||Action|