ENG-30078 - Modernist Manifestos and Magazines
Coordinator: Rebecca Bowler Room: 2.037 Tel: +44 1782 7 33017
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

The early twentieth century was a time of revolutions: aesthetic and political. Modernism was all about experimentation, 'making it new', and challenging traditions and conventions. Modernist Manifestos and Magazines looks at modernist literature through the lens of the little magazines and independent publications in which it was being published. It will introduce students to some of the key social and political issues of the day and the way politics were discussed by writers and artists (the political manifesto). It will also highlight some of the artistic and cultural statements of intent produced by modernist writers in the early twentieth century (the aesthetic manifestos). We will look at the major innovations in modernist prose form (May Sinclair, Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, Ford Madox Ford and Katherine Mansfield) as well as some of the most radical and exciting (or controversial!) calls to arms in political literature (Wyndham Lewis, Zora Neale Hurston, Mina Loy, F.T. Marinetti).
This module takes The Modernist Journals Project (MJP) as its core text. MJP is an exciting and comprehensive open-access archive of modernism┐s `little magazines┐. Modernist Manifestos and Magazines will look at the work of these famous and innovative modernists in its original setting.

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the political and aesthetic values of early twentieth-century modernist literature and the material print culture from which these values emerged. They will be introduced to key aesthetic literary theories of modernity, political ideologies of the early twentieth century in the UK, America and Europe, and important modernist experimental fiction.

Intended Learning Outcomes


Study hours

Teaching contact hours: 33 (three hours per week)
One hour online: Group presentation and Q&A from audience members
Two hours seminar (with mini lecture and group discussion).
Reading (directed and independent study): 79 hours
Assessment preparation: 38 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Group Presentation weighted 20%
Group Presentation (20%)
In weeks three, four, five, six and seven the seminars will be introduced by presentations by small groups of students on the history of the magazine to be studied that week (Fire!!, The English Review, Rhythm, The Egoist and The Little Review). They will be asked to research and present an overview of the magazine┐s character, aims and purposes: the background of its editors, its contributors, it circulation and target audience. What is the tone of the magazine? Who is it aimed at? Why does it publish the kind of work it does? These presentations will be assessed in terms of their accuracy, detail of historical research, and insight into the significance of the political and material context of literary publication. Students will be assessed on the clarity and concision of their communication, on the diversity of sources used in the research, and on their ability to engage and reflect critically on the usefulness of these sources. Students will receive an individual mark, not a group mark.

2: Essay weighted 70%
Research Essay (70%)
Selected from a list of 8-10 essay questions (3000 words). Students will be expected to devise and argument and to construct and sustain this argument through the analysis of texts from the magazines studied on the module (the primary texts). They will also be expected to engage with secondary criticism and to demonstrate evidence of reading beyond course materials.

3: Individual Report weighted 10%
Individual report on group presentation
Each student will submit, no later than one week after their presentation, a brief outline of their individual contribution to the research for the presentation (750 words). This should include an account of the research process and evaluation of sources used.