BEAT WRITING - 2021/2
Module code: ELI3043
The Beat Generation writers scandalised and shocked mid-20th Century American culture, challenging societal norms of gender, politics, religion and spirituality, race, sexuality, sex, drugs and music alongside proposing radical literary practices that struck at the heart of polite literary society. They, and their writings, were seen as wild, unpredictable, dangerous and transgressive. This was the birth of youth culture.
In this course, students will be introduced to key aspects of and movements in Beat writing, through the techniques employed by the writers themselves, from the spontaneous writing of Jack Kerouac, the paranoia cut-up methods of William Burroughs, the visionary ‘madness’ of Allen Ginsberg to the writings on gender and race of Anne Waldman, John Wieners and Leroi Jones. Alongside this we will look at the writing practices of the Beat writers of the San Francisco Renaissance, for example the beast language of Michael McClure and the Zen poetics of Gary Snyder.
In each workshop we will first spend some time discussing the set texts and the techniques employed by those writers concerned, before moving on to the workshop part of the class where students will produce work in accordance with the task set for that week. We will read and discuss a selection of pieces at the end of each class.
At the end of the semester students will produce a creative portfolio of Beat or Beat-inspired writing, alongside a critical essay and commentary reflecting on the creative work produced and using theories, concepts and practices studied on the module, OR an academic critical essay examining some aspect of the Beat Writing phenomenon.
School of Literature and Languages
MOONEY Stephen (Lit & Langs)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
JACs code: T720
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
None. This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.
The following areas are indicative of topics to be covered:
- Beat and its Interpretations
- Spontaneous Writing
- Visionary Beat
- The Paranoia Cut-Up
- Bop Prosody
- Meat Writing
- Zen Writing
- Fast Speaking Women
- Beat Memoir
- Gender and Transgression in the Beats
- Violence, Transgression, Anger in the Social Beat
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||CREATIVE PIECE (2400 WORDS OR EQUIVALENT) PLUS CRITICAL ESSAY AND COMMENTARY (600 WORDS) OR CRITICAL ESSAY (3000 WORDS)||100|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate
- the development in their writing skills in academic prose, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry)
- their understanding of the context of their work in historical and cultural terms, as well as in terms of other creative writing in the field
- their development of research and writing skills
- productive and informed critical reflection on both the literary writing itself and the critical and secondary material that surrounds it, and/or both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
End of semester Creative Piece (2400 words or equivalent in poetry) plus critical essay and commentary (600 words) (100%) OR Critical Essay (3000 words) (100%)
Formative assessment and feedback
Verbal Feedback in class, written and/or verbal feedback on one piece of writing (maximum of 1,000 words).
Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, and a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.
- Develop in students a thorough critical understanding of Beat Generation writing in the context of mid-20th Century culture through a range of prose, poetic and dramatic texts
- Develop the ability in students to analyse and appraise compositional styles and techniques in the Beat writing mode, and apply critical insights to their own writing practices OR published works
- Facilitate the acquiring of the detailed knowledge and skills necessary for producing Beat writing
- Help students attain the ability to apply critical awareness to one's own creative writing OR published works
- Encourage students to work as a group in the production of collaborative work in the workshop context
- Encourage students to submit work for publication
|001||Gained significant confidence and ability in critically analysis and thinking||C|
|002||Gained an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers||KPT|
|003||More fully developed their sense of their own practice as writers and/or that of other writers in relation to mid 20th century practices that have had, and continue to have, a significant formative effects on contemporary writing||KPT|
|004||Developed a stronger sense of the materials and techniques available to them as writers, and to other writers, and begun to locate this work within the context of contemporary writing||KCP|
|005||Established a knowledge of the context of radical and experimental writing practices that were instrumental in the formulation of the wider development of youth culture||K|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 128
Seminar Hours: 22
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
- Hone and develop students’ writing skills in academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) by helping students understand the context of radical and experimental writing practices that were instrumental in the formulation of the wider development of youth culture
- Assist students in locating literary texts and their critical writing, and/or their creative work in historical and cultural contexts by developing a stronger sense of the materials and techniques available to them as writers, and begun to locate their work within the context of contemporary writing, and by more fully developing their sense of their own practice as writers in relation to mid 20th century practices that have had, and continue to have, a significant formative effects on contemporary writing
- Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) and creative criticism by helping them gain significant confidence and ability in critically analysis and thinking, and an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers
The learning and teaching methods include:
2 hour seminar x 11 weeks.
Reading list for BEAT WRITING : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/eli3043
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.