SJ5000A - Genre Fiction Part 1 (2023/24)
|Module approved to run in 2023/24
|Genre Fiction Part 1
|Credit rating for module
|School of Art, Architecture and Design
|Total study hours
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
From detective and spy fiction to children’s fantasy and romantic comedies, a well-established range of narrative genres dominates the production of popular, commercial fiction for both page and screen. Often dismissed as escapist, conformist entertainment for the masses, genre fiction may also be considered a literature of subversion and resistance in its expression of transgressive desires and imagination of alternative realities. This module studies the historical development, interplay, techniques, conventions, audiences and themes of some major types of genre fiction from the eighteenth century to the present day. It contributes to the programme’s exploration of contemporary publishing as a cultural industry and hence develops students’ employability.
The module will be taught via a programme of weekly sessions supplemented by tutorial and online support. It allows students to specialise in genres of their choice. As well as developing skills of literary analysis, students will have the opportunity to practise the role of creative producer or critical reviewer through their choice of written coursework. Students will also give a short presentation on a popular text of their choice.
The module aims to examine a range of popular narrative genres across prose fiction and in relation to contemporary cultural production more broadly. It will develop students’ critical, analytical abilities and their reflexive awareness of their personal relationship to popular culture, as consumer, fan, critic and/or creative producer. It will engage students in using a range of practical skills for discussing or creating works of genre fiction.
Prior learning requirements
Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.
Available for Study Abroad? YES
The syllabus will be organised into blocks on specific narrative genres, which may vary from year to year. Typically they will include some of the following: Gothic horror and crime; science fiction and fantasy; romantic and historical fiction; children’s and young adult fiction (LO1). Students will be encouraged to nominate additional genres or sub-genres of their own choice via their presentation (LO3).
Each major genre will be studied through a representative selection of primary texts considered formally and thematically so as to show both the distinctiveness of different genres and the inter-relationships between them. The module will provide a broad chronological account of historical origins and review contemporary incarnations on page and screen, for example in film, television drama, graphic fiction and videogames. Topics considered might include: genre fiction as a response to political crisis, modernity, technological change and urbanisation; deviance and normalisation in representation of gender roles and sexuality; representation and postcolonial critique; fan culture and media franchising. (LO1, LO2)
Students will have the opportunity to specialise in the development of creative or critical practice (LO2, LO3).
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.
The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
LO1 explain the historical and/or contemporary operation of some popular genres of prose fiction;
Subject specific skills
LO2 appraise works of genre fiction in terms of their techniques, pleasures and ideology;
LO3 present their ideas in a variety of modes.
Students will submit written coursework at the end of the module. This will allow students to specialise in creative or critical practice. Typically the written coursework will take the form of an essay, short story with commentary, memoir or set of reviews.
The presentation will require students to introduce a popular fiction text to the class and analyse it with reference to academic concepts and comparative texts studied in the main syllabus. Presentations may be individual or group (typically 5 minutes per student) or in poster form. A schedule for presentations will be arranged during the module, to be completed by week 12.