EN3224: The Twentieth Century

Taken in:
AY16/17 Semester 1

Lecturer:
Dr Gilbert Yeoh/Grace (asst. lecturer/tutor)

What the module is about, briefly:
Modernism and postmodernism. The topics covered include change and flux, redemption, the place of religion etc. Postmodernism includes metattheatre, self-reflexivity etc. It’s a very interesting module in the appreciation and theoretical understanding of modern day change and how literature deals with them (or not).

Texts:
James Joyce The Portrait of a Young Man as an Artist
Virginia Woolf To The Lighthouse
Jeanette Winterson Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Luigi Pirandello Six Characters in Search of an Author
Harold Pinter The Birthday Party
T S Elliot The Waste Land

Workload:
Keeping up with the texts itself is tough, but there are not many readings to overwhelm you with, plus they are optional. Having said that, it is good to actually read them because they provide much theoretical support for the assertions and textual analyses made in the lectures. Dr Yeoh is amazing, he gives you a lot of information, like everything is in the lecture slides. The only issue (for some, including myself) was the fact that he demands originality in his final essays and prefers if people do not repeat what he says in the lecture. But it could be a problem because he kinda tells you everything about the text extensively and comprehensively so…

Format of assessment:
Very clearly stated, and essay questions were uploaded when the module started in week 1 so there’s no issue of late releasing of questions etc.

Midterms (15%), finals (35%), final essay (35%) and class participation (15%).
Exams are open book.

Exam difficulty:
Both midterms and finals – not very tough, it’s all open book and he’s not as hard up for originality as for final essay. Doable.He gives you a few quotes (choose 2) for section A – identify which text it comes from and write a few things about the quote with link to overall themes of the book. Section B write an overall essay on a particular text.

Recommended:
Yes. However, some of my cohort mates have commented that they cannot understand/get the module so it differs from person to person whether your interest in the module can be sustained over the course of the semester and whether you’re more or less into modernist/postmodernist/post-structuralist theories and texts.

Overall rating (/10):
7.5/10

 

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