EN1101E: An Introduction to Literary Studies

Taken: AY15/16 Semester 1

This module was taught by Dr Susan Ang and Prof Richardson.


What the mod is about & comments –
It’s literally an introduction to literary studies. However I have to say that the bell curve is slightly rigged, because many literature/potential literature majors take this module so if you take it as a GEM or without prior literature experience you may be disadvantaged. However, it is worth taking the module to try out and experience what literature is all about. There is a good selection of texts and even a film. (I’ve checked the 2016/17 sem 2 module and it’s taken by Dr Gilbert Yeoh and the texts are pretty great!!!) If you’ve had prior literary experience, this is a good time to brush up on your understanding and expression of thought because the feedback given is good. Dr Ang’s lectures are real solid and comprehensive and if you can follow her train of thought, the benefits are great. Tutorials are taken by the profs and the other tutors, mine was taught by a graduate student who was good in her individual feedback, in my opinion, but in tutorials it was mainly helmed by group discussions and she did not really do a consolidation or synthesis so I suppose that’s for you to handle. 

Workload:
Is okay (if you’re used to writing essays), if you’re not, it can be slightly tough. The difficulty of the texts differs every year depending on which texts are chosen. For my year, AY 2015/2016 Sem 1, they selected Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, a collection of Short Stories, and the film Hero by Zhang Yimou. I enjoyed the texts. Also, you should clear all the readings, it’s actually just lecture notes plus the text so do your readings. And if you have worries, talk to the seniors we can help you.

Grading:
10% Tutorial participation, 10% First essay (1000 – 1200 words), 20% Second essay (1500 words), 20% Mid-terms (1 essay based on unseen poetry), 40% Finals (1 essay based on unseen poetry, 1 essay based on the set texts)

Thoughts about the tutor:
Dr Ang is extremely intelligent and engaging, Dr Richardson perhaps slightly less, however. One thing to note about Dr Ang. She’s very quick and fast but she uploads transcripts of her lectures (since it’s 1101e). Her lecture is like an argument, she states a thesis and then explains it.

Exam (briefly format and difficulty) –
Midterms was 1 unseen essay.
Final exam was 2 essays. (5 unseen choose 1 and then 5 set texts questions choose 1

Recommended if…
If you’ve had prior literary experience, this is a good time to brush up on your understanding and expression of thought because the feedback given is good. If you’re new, take it for a spin to see if you’d like literature.

Rate mod (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 8/10

Expected grade A-
Actual grade A-

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