ENG-30053 - Postmodernism: Fiction, Film and Theory
Coordinator: Nicholas P Bentley Room: CBB2.057 Tel: +44 1782 7 33304
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

Postmodernism represents an important body of critical theory that developed in the second half of the twentieth century, and continues to have relevance in the twenty-first. It crosses a range of disciplines, but emphasises an interrogative, reflexive and eclectic challenge to many philosophical and aesthetic values and practices. On this module, students will explore the relevance and meaning of some of the ideas associated with postmodernism with respect to selected novels and films. Students will assess the influence of key ideas on writers and directors and they will study the main themes and techniques used in postmodern fiction and film. The module also encourages a critically-informed assessment of the implications of postmodern thinking for contemporary notions of history, identity, sexuality, politics and consumer society. Fiction and film likely to be studied on the module include Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10 Chapters; Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit; Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go; Ali Smith, How To Be Both; The Hours (dir. Stephen Daldry); The Company of Wolves (dir. Neil Jordan); The Matrix (dir. Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski); and Mulholland Drive (dir. David Lynch).

To examine the relationship between selected fiction, film and postmodern theory.
To develop an understanding of influential theoretical ideas in postmodernism.
To study the generic and stylistic features of recent writing and film.
To encourage critical analysis of literary, filmic and theoretical material and reflection on the practice of criticism.

Intended Learning Outcomes

discuss and write confidently on the ideas, techniques and developments associated with postmodernism as well as the major concepts advanced by relevant literary and cultural theories: 1,2
discuss and write at an advanced level on the complexity of literary and filmic language: 1,2
apply, critically, challenging concepts in the analysis of literary and filmic texts: 1,2
use advanced interpretative and analytical skills in the analysis of literary and filmic texts: 1,2
assess the value of different critical approaches: 1,2
consider the place of literature and film within transformations of culture, aesthetic value and representation: 1,2

Study hours

24 hours seminars
12 hours lectures/workshops
20 hours seminar/workshop preparation
54 hours reading primary and secondary texts
10 hours working on short paper assessment
30 hours working on essay

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 80%
A 3,000 word essay
Students choose one question from a list of 8-10. The essay will require students to reflect on aspects of postmodern theory and apply them to a selected novel or film.

2: Short Paper weighted 20%
A 1200-word analysis of a an extract form a critical theory
Students will choose to discuss one from a choice of three extracts from different theories related to postmodernism. They will be asked to apply this theory to an extract of prose fiction. Feedback will offered on this exercise that will feed into the other pieces of assessment.