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2007/08 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3238 Encountering the Past: the United States through other Cultures

20 creditsClass Size: 20


Module manager: Professor Bridget Bennett

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2007/08

This module is not approved as an Elective


To gain a critical and contextual (historical, political, cultural) understanding of a range of nineteenth century and early twentieth century United States texts (including fiction, drama, journals and film). To gain an understanding of the development of and experiments in literary form, and to explore the relationship of writers and their work to their social environment and to larger political issues.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
critical reasoning;
research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
IT skills;
Efficient time management and organisation skills;
the ability to learn independently.


This module investigates the way in which U.S. literary culture has conceived of and represented other cultures, particularly those of the ancient world and the middle east. A special focus will be on the way in which Egyptomania functioned within the United States of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Egypt is frequently figured through a series of different tropes, in ways that we will investigate, which relate it to imperialism and other central political concerns, particularly slavery. One aim of the module is to consider how representations of other cultures within U.S. cultural productions have helped to shape the array of meanings currently being invoked as part of the lexicon of the War on Terror.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading, seminar preparation, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar contribution.

1 x 1700 word unassessed essay (requirement).

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/03/2008


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