Modernities 2: 1945 to the present ENGLIT5072

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course provides the opportunity for advanced study of late modern, postmodern and contemporary developments in culture and theory. It aims to investigate the key texts and concepts which shape our understanding of literature and culture across a period of radical change through an examination of the aesthetic and cultural assumptions of different modern movements and through an examination of issues in modern writing, particularly those relating to post-modernity (simulation, spectacle, performativity and trauma and others). Throughout, texts studied are related to developments in other cultural practices, such as film, theatre and the visual arts. 


10 x 2 hour weekly seminars

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





One short piece of critical writing of 1000 words (20%)

One essay of 4000 words (80%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ enable students to investigate the key texts and concepts which shape our understanding of literature and culture across a period of unprecedented change (1945 - the present).

■ introduce students to recent critical approaches to the study of texts from the period, as well as to related theoretical issues and discourses.

■ encourage the development of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the period.

■ encourage the acquisition of research skills through directed and independent study.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ critically engage with the aesthetic and cultural assumptions underpinning the most important artistic movements of the period.

■ apply their sophisticated knowledge of cultural context and theoretical terminology to the analysis of specific texts from the period.

■ express their views competently in writing, to frame arguments both concisely and at length, and to conform to appropriate scholarly conventions in the presentation of their work.

■ exhibit an advanced level of proficiency in the principal methods of literary research.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.