The Mind of the Contemporary American Novel ENGLIT5078

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will examine the ways in which the contemporary American novel has responded to the modern rise of neuroscience.


10 weekly seminars of 2 hours

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





10% 1 ten-minute presentation

90% 1 x 4400 word essay

Course Aims

The course aims to provide student with the skills to:

■ Analyse a range of major contemporary American writers in substantive literary and cultural contexts;

■ Engage with, and evaluate, the developing field of cognitive historicist critical approaches to literary texts;

■ Explore possibilities and limitations of interdisciplinary study of literary texts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Articulate a nuanced understanding of the rise and fall of postmodern American fiction, and of the way twenty-first-century American fiction negotiates postmodernism's literary legacy;

■ Analyse and contextualise the changing forms of and rhetorical devices common to the contemporary American fiction;

■ Evaluate larger scholarly debates about literature and science, and more specific forms of cognitive literary criticism;

■ Display an ability to work with interdisciplinary materials at an advanced level.

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.