TEXTUAL MATERIALITIES - 2021/2

Module code: ELIM050

Module Overview

“Literature was never only words, never merely immaterial verbal constructions. Literary texts, like us, have bodies, an actuality necessitating that their materialities and meanings are deeply interwoven into each other” —N. Katherine Hayles, Writing Machines
In this level 7 Creative Writing module, we will, as Hayles argues, consider the materiality of a variety of print-based and digital-born literature with an eye toward developing original creative projects. We will read and discuss relevant literary and theoretical works in detail, considering the medium (and technology, where appropriate) involved in their construction, as well as the aesthetic and conceptual frameworks that underpin each text. And to make use of all of our reading, students will learn to articulate responses to set texts through a series of writing exercises in which they are encouraged to experiment—to get their hands dirty, to play, to have fun—with the concepts introduced by the texts we read. Students should also be prepared to contribute fully to workshop discussions of their own and each other’s work. The module will provide students the opportunity to produce, revise and polish their creative writing and will encourage and enable them to reflect on their own creative work and writing practice in a productive and critically-informed manner. Attendance is compulsory.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

SZCZEPANIAK Angela (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

none

Module content

Indicative list of topics to be covered:
• The medium-specific concerns of print texts, digital-born texts, artists’ books, and book objects
• Theoretical frameworks relating to textual materialities (e.g. digital, physical, technological) to contextualise creative literary works
• The relationships between form and content
• Drafting, redrafting, revising, editing creative projects that explore textual materiality
• Producing effective self-reflective commentary that explores the medium-specific concerns of individual creative projects produced in response to set texts

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Creative Writing Portfolio (3000 words creative prose or equivalent , plus 1000 words of self-reflective commentary 100

Alternative Assessment

n/a

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:
• the development of their creative writing skills in their own creative projects that explore textual materialities
• the development of creative projects which engage with specific technical, formal, and creative challenges (such as materials and methods of construction; achieving narrative cohesion—or purposeful disruption thereof; exploring constructions of tone, voice, character, etc)
• their understanding of the context of their work within this field and how their work may fit into it
• productive and informed critical reflection on 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 Writing Portfolio (3000 words creative prose or equivalent for poetry or other forms submissions, plus 1000 words of self-reflective critical commentary) (100%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor feedback in seminars on short pieces presented as part of the workshopping element of the classes. Each student can expect to present 1-2 such pieces over the course of the semester according to a schedule worked out between the tutor and the student cohort, as well as presenting other in-class writing exercises to the class for discussion, and peer and tutor feedback.
Written and/or oral tutor feedback will also be provided on one piece of creative writing (maximum of 1000 words or equivalent for poetry or other forms) during the course of the module.
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.

Module aims

  • • Gain practice in producing prose, poetry or other creative literary forms which engage with creative and theoretical frameworks that explore textual materiality, and apply those concepts in their own writing
  • • Become more sophisticated readers of texts concerned with textual materiality (for example, digital-born texts, artists’ books, book objects, etc)
  • • Gain a sensitivity to the ways in which different media/materials impact literature, creative processes, and reading practices
  • • Engage with the conceptual frameworks of a variety of literary texts invested in materiality (such as mixed media texts)—students will begin to see this writing not only in the context of developing technologies, but also through the artistic foundations that undergird them
  • • Develop individual projects while seeing their work as part of a larger community within and beyond the classroom (via workshops, class discussions, writing exercises, etc)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 • Identify the specific technical challenges involved in a particular creative project focused on textual materiality CP
002 • Identify a variety of creative techniques with which to respond to these challenges CKP
003 • Understand, describe and explain the nature, role and significance of the creative choices they make as writers CKP
004 • Offer detailed and constructive feedback on other students’ creative writing – and in so doing gain insight into their own writing and how it might be improved CKPT
005 • Respond to the detailed and constructive feedback of other students in order to polish, refine and rethink their own creative writing CKPT
006 • Locate their own creative writing in relevant theoretical, literary and historical contexts CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 126

Seminar Hours: 24

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

• Engage students in exploring and effectively realising their creative projects
• Hone and develop students’ writing skills in projects invested in concepts of materiality by deploying a range of editing, revising and redrafting methods to improve their work, as well as by identifying the specific technical challenges involved in a particular creative project, and the creative techniques with which to respond to these challenges
• Assist students in locating their work in historical and cultural contexts by helping them develop their own creative writing in relation to relevant theoretical, literary, or historical contexts and conceptual frameworks
• Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed creative projects
• Assisting them in responding to the detailed and constructive feedback of other students in order to polish, refine and rethink their own creative writing, as well as offering detailed and constructive feedback on other students’ creative writing – and in so doing helping them gain insight into their own writing and how it might be improved
• Facilitate in students’ critical awareness of their own creative choices in their practice-based projects, through a critical engagement with a variety of literary and theoretical texts concerned with textual materialities

The learning and teaching methods include:

Two contact hours per week over the semester. Classes will take the form of workshops; students are expected to read and prepare weekly set texts and to undertake preparatory work in advance of workshops.

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.

Reading list

Reading list for TEXTUAL MATERIALITIES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/elim050

Other information

none

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Writing MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

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.