Surrey University Stag


Module code: ELIM008

Module Overview

In this compulsory module on Literary Scholarship and Creativity students alternate, from week to week, between seminars on 1) the relationship between literature and specific processes of production and 2) contemporary critical theories on the creation and social function of literature. The module begins with Victorian Perodicals and concludes with the latest technological developments in publishing. 

Having traced the way in which literary form and content have adapted to innovation in the past, students are better equipped to perceive how literature is evolving even now; to formulate fresh critical theories that can take into account new modes of production, reproduction, dissemination, interpretation and social function.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

MOONEY Stephen (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: Q320

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 126

Seminar Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 2

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Romantic Print Culture
• Literary Criticism in the US
• The Serial Novel
• Victorian Cultural Criticism
• Rise of Genre-Fiction
• Editing The Wasteland
• Modernist Little Magazines
• The Penguin Paperback
• The Graphic Novel
• Digital Publishing

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • their creative ability in writing on themes or in techniques related to developments in the literary and creative industries

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

End of semester Critical Essay (3000 words),
Creative Portfolio (2500 words or equivalent) plus Reflective Commentary (500 words) (100%)

Formative assessment and feedback
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. In addition, during Week 7 students will be expected to submit for formative assessment:

  • 1000-word essay plan and annotated bibliography or up to 1000 words of prose (or equivalent) of creative and or plan of the critical commentary

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.

Module aims

  • To offer an overview of how production processes have changed over time
  • To rethink the impact technological innovation has had upon literary form and content
  • To explore the relationship between this material history and changes in aesthetic theories
  • To relate these core themes to other more specialised, period-specific themes
  • To hone critical and analytical skills through the examination of source and critical texts focussed on the literary economy and means of literary production and distribution
  • To help students to develop their own writerly styles and abilities in the light of these literary and creative developments across the 20th Century
  • to introduce students of both English Literature and Creative Writing to practical elements of the literary industries, though the inclusion of visiting industry professionals in the teaching of the module each year (such as literary agents, editor, proof-readers, advertising and marketing specialists, authors, publishers, etc)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Knowledge of the physical processes and technologies of production that underpin literary creativity, and how these have changed over time K
002 Understanding of how the former has shaped the latter in the Modern Period KC
003 Knowledge of the major aesthetic theories that have evolved to explain the inner-functioning and social utility of literature in the 20th Century KC
004 Insights into specific topics within this overall program: the history of the idea of culture, the creative industries, the rise of genre-fiction, the politics of publishing, issues surrounding censorship, Modernism, etc KC
005 Increased critical and analytical application in the examination of source and critical materials CT
006 A greater understanding of 20th Century developments in writing and literary form and an increased application of this in their own writing KPT
007 For creative writing students, their ability to develop a creative project connected to one of the strands of the literary and creative industries that this module explores KPT
008 Knowledge of the workings of contemporary literary industries KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

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 developing insights into specific topics within this overall program, and to help students produce innovative, imaginative and exciting publication standard creative work that engages with the literary and creative industries 

  • Assist students in locating literary texts and their critical wrting, and/or their creative work in historical and cultural contexts by developing an understanding of the physical processes of production that underpin literary creativity, and of the major aesthetic theories that have evolved to explain the inner-functioning and social utility of literature from Plato to Wordsworth 

  • 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 studying the body of critical work surrounding the areas examined, especially from the Modern Period 

  • Facilitate in students productive reflection on both the critical and political agendas of literary studies and on their own place within theoretical positions, and/or on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it by assisting them in demonstrating practical, critical and theoretical insights in the end of semester written assignment 

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2 hour seminar x 11 weeks. Two contact hours per week over Semester 1.  Classes will take the form of workshops; students are expected to read outside classes and to undertake preparatory work in advance for 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELIM008

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 2023/4 academic year.