Contemporary English Literature
Reference AHTALE00000033
Taught in Language specific courses group English (MA)Language specific courses group English (MA)
Theory (A) 30.0
Exercises (B) 15.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 150.0
Studypoints (E) 5
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Course included in exam contract
Retake possible in case of permanent evaluation? Yes
Teaching Language English
Lecturer Jozef De Vos
Department LW11
Key Words

contemporary literary theory: intertextuality, parody, the burlesque. Margaret Atwood.

Position of the Course

This course aims at familiarizing students with formal experiments in the contemporary English novel. The students’ critical and analytical skills should ideally be improved.


Formal experiments in the contemporary English novel will be analysed on the basis of theoretical texts and will be situated in a broad cultural context. A narratological analysis of four novels by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood forms the starting point of an investigation into the manner in which contemporary authors interweave popular and elitist literary genres so as to challenge the boundaries of the novel.

Starting Competences

To have successfully completed at least one of the "English Literature III" courses or to have acquired the necessary skills by other means. Students should also have sufficient interpretative ability and be familiar with methods of literary analysis.

Final Competences

To be acquainted with some concepts with which formal experiments in contemporary fiction can be described. To be able to analyse literary texts on the basis of the supplied theoretical texts.

Teaching and Learning Material

A reader with theoretical texts by a.o. Linda Hutcheon; Patricia Waugh; Rosemary Jackson; …


Surfacing. Virago, 1994
The Robber Bride. Virago, 1994
The Blind Assassin. Virago, 2001.
The Penelopiad. Canongate Books, 2008.

Teaching Methods

Interactive lectures. Students will be expected to have read the texts ahead of time.

Evaluation Methods

Permanent evaluation and written exam

Examination Methods

Written exam with open questions

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