American Classics Module

American Classics Module

This module will introduce you to American literature and ask you to consider its wider significance in American culture. As the title would suggest the idea of the literary classic plays a key part but rather than simply accept that some texts are 'classics' and others aren't, the module prompts you to consider what it is that makes a classic. What social and cultural ideas get reinforced when certain texts are named classics? The first text you'll read is Solomon Northup's 1853 text Twelve Years a Slave.  Two tips here: 1) don't think you'll be able to get away with just watching the film! and 2) buy the (cheap) Wordsworth Edition of the text which includes module leader Dr Colin Harrison's introduction to the text. Studying a slave narrative to begin a module on American literature will kick off all of those discussions about classics, how, for example, does American literary history change if considered amongst its most important works are...
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Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara

Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara

Lunch Poems was easily my favourite text of 1st year. I fell deeply in love with O'Hara and am married to his poems in my heart. I'm not a weirdo. Reading poetry is very different to reading a novel, and this often puts students off but if you stick with it the pay off is great and you'll never want to read anything but poetry again (except for what's on your reading list of course). The first thing to do with Lunch Poems is to give it a kiss because it's such a sexy little book. If you don't feel these urges to begin with then, trust me, you will by the time you're done (I reckon). Then just read through them all in one go. Don't worry about "getting" them or understanding all the references, because there are loads and you can look stuff up later, just read them. Get a feel for the language by reading aloud. Take your time, but not...
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