Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL5847M War, Mourning, Memory: 1914-1939

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Ian Fairley

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

As for MA programme


ENGL5841MStudying English: Research Methods

Module replaces

The Poetry of Catastrophe: Reading Paul Celan (ENGL5827M)

This module is not approved as an Elective


‘War, Mourning, Memory’ will make students familiar with a wide range of literary texts written between 1914 and 1939 in response to the First World War. Its critical objective is comparative: to facilitate exploration of significant fiction, poetry and drama in connection to psychoanalytical and related writing on war in the same period. It aims to foster an understanding of First World War literature through a primary focus on writing concerned with continuity and breakdown in forms of identity and social life.

Learning outcomes
Students will grasp the central concern of their primary texts with the possibility of life amid and after death. They will develop a capacity to think about these texts in relation to the shared enquiry of psychoanalytical and other writing of the same period. The ability of students to make their own readings will be informed by knowledge of present-day critical and theoretical discussion of their chosen materials.

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.

Skills outcomes
Masters (Taught), Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate students will have had the opportunity to acquire the following abilities as defined in the modules specified for the programme:
- the skills necessary to undertake a higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity;
- evaluating their own achievement and that of others;
- self direction and effective decision making;
- independent learning and the ability to work in a way which ensures continuing professional development;
- to engage critically in the development of professional/disciplinary boundaries and norms.


This module will explore a range of fiction, drama and poetry to do with the experience and afterlife of the First World War. The historical span of our writing extends from 1914 to the outbreak of the Second World War. Throughout the module we shall focus upon the forms of loss, recollection and desire that structure our texts, giving consistent attention to their preoccupation with relations among and between men and women. The dislocation of home and family will figure prominently in our study, as will the disturbance of given forms of social and sexual identity. Our primary texts present us with a rich variety of tradition and innovation that we shall explore in the company of early psychoanalytical and other writing of the period, including Freud’s wartime essays and related accounts of ‘shell shock’. Many of our texts are concerned with how to conceive, and what to make of, the dead, and it is with this question in mind that the module places mourning and memory at the centre of its enquiry.

Priority for places on this module will be given to students on the MA Creative Writing & Critical Life programme.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Reading, researching, seminar preparation and five additional sessions (content to be determined by tutor, may include lectures or film screenings): 280 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Ongoing feedback from tutor and peers in response to seminar presentations and group blogs; mid-semester 1700 word unassessed essay, consultation and feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4000 word essay100.00
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: 16/08/2023 09:45:40


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019