BEAT WRITING - 2021/2
Module code: ELIM031
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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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 7
JACs code: T720
Module cap (Maximum number of students): 15
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 (3000 WORDS) PLUS CRITICAL ESSAY & COMMENTARY (1500 WORDS) OR CRITICAL ESSAY (4500 WORDS)||100|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:
- the development in their knowledge and understanding of literary and creative texts and textual practices
- their understanding of the social, cultural, historical and geographical contexts for the production of literary and creative texts and of the way those texts intervene in related discourses
- their understanding of verbal creativity and the formal and aesthetic dimensions of literary and creative texts
- their creative ability in writing on themes or in techniques related to Beat writing and/or a mid- 20th Century context
- a range of subject specific and transferable skills gained in critical and creative thinking, in the production of critical and creative texts, and of practical support in the development of employability and/or creative practice skills
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
Creative Piece (3000 words) plus critical essay and commentary (1500 words) (100%) OR Critical Essay (4500 words) (100%)
Formative assessment and feedback
Verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor feedback in seminars, on short pieces (250-500 words of prose, or equivalent in another form) presented as part of the workshopping element of the classes. Each student can expect to present 2-3 such pieces over the course of the semester according to a schedule worked out between the tutor and the student cohort.
Written and/or oral tutor feedback will also be provided on one piece of creative writing (maximum of 1000 words or equivalent for poetry) during the course of the module (the student is free to submit this at any point of the semester).
As such, writing, presentation and critical analysis skills will be developed and honed which will feed forward to the summative assessment at the end of the module.
There is the option of 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
- Facilitate the examination of the theory and conceptualisation of Beat writing critically alongside the practices and published texts produced in relation to it
- Encourage students to critically develop their thinking about their own practice as writers, OR that of other writers, and to present this in cogent terms
- Encourage students to submit work for publication
- Develop students’ technical writing skills in multiple forms, such as prose, poetry, drama, screenwriting and other, including intermedial, forms
- Help prepare students to consider possible routes to publication for their work and make them aware of possible careers as arts professionals
|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|
|006||Produced work individually and in groups, as well as have been introduced to intermedial collaborative ideas||CT|
|007||Developed an understanding of appropriate writerly techniques in prose, poetry, drama, screenwriting and other, including intermedial, writing forms that engage the creative thematic and technical possibilities of Beat Writing in their own work||KPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 126
Seminar Hours: 22
Tutorial Hours: 2
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 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, and to help students produce innovative, imaginative and exciting publication standard creative work
- Assist students in locating literary texts and their critical writing, and/or their creative work in historical and cultural contexts by developing understanding of the context of radical and experimental writing practices that were instrumental in the formulation of the wider development of youth culture
- 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 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
- Facilitate in students productive reflection on both the creative process itself and the finished work 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.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
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.