42 Week Course - 42 Assignments
Modules: Literature & Emotion, Espionage, Society, Identity, Education, Cultural Theory; War Writing; The Diary & the Epistolary Novel; Language Criticism; Sonnets; Confessional Writing
Our weekly assignments invite students to explore essays, book chapters, news features, lectures, podcasts, videos and websites. Each assignment requires students to engage for approximately an hour, they vary in length depending on their difficulty. Lengthy book chapters allow for students to get deep into the text whilst short videos present more challenging material whilst leaving more time for thinking.
About the Course
I have divided this reading list into several sections. These include ‘Literature and emotion’, ‘War writing’, ‘Literature and espionage’, ‘The diary and the epistolary novel’, ‘Language criticism’, ‘Sonnets’, ‘Confessional writing’, ‘Literature and society’, ‘Literature and identity’ and ‘Literature and education’. English courses differ considerably from university to university in their historical depth and range; the authors, texts and contexts that they promote; and even in their conceptions of ‘literature’. This reading list introduces the subject by focusing simply on topic and genre. The final section is intended for pupils who are looking for an introduction to literary and cultural theory – an essential branch of inquiry that transformed the field of English entirely from the 1980s onwards and that has sparked culture wars ever since. If you are looking to improve your understanding of literary terms and terminology, I recommend you consult J.A. Cuddon’s Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory, which has been reprinted many times in Penguin editions. Do not be worried if parts of this reading list are more familiar or easy to you than others. What matters is your willingness to engage with a broad range of styles, topics and theories within the field. I will announce some weeks of reading in due course to coincide with current events in English, including the annual award of the Nobel Prize in Literature, debates hosted by the Royal Society of Literature and speeches delivered by the Poet Laureate.
"English courses differ considerably from university to university in their historical depth and range; the authors, texts and contexts that they promote; and even in their conceptions of ‘literature’"
- Dr Frank Hutton-Williams
Meet the Course Designer
Francis Hutton-Williams is an academic of British and Irish Literature with a side interest in media and communications. He holds a DPhil from Oxford (2011-14), where he was an Amelia Jackson senior scholar. After completing his doctorate, he worked as a postdoctoral research assistant for the Oxford Faculty of English Language and Literature (2015) and as an academic tutor for St. Catherine's College (2016 –). He is currently preparing a monograph for Oxford University Press on the Irish avant-garde.