AJ9301 Contemporary British Literature and Society

Faculty of Education
Autumn 2024
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught in person.
Mgr. Dita Hochmanová, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Zdeněk Janík, M.A., Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Zdeněk Janík, M.A., Ph.D.
Department of English Language and Literature – Faculty of Education
Contact Person: Jana Popelková
Supplier department: Department of English Language and Literature – Faculty of Education
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course examines the development of British literature since 1945 on the background of historical, social and cultural events. In the seminars we will explore major writers and literary movements of the period as well as recurrent themes and motifs in the assigned readings. At the end of the course students will be able to identify major figures of British literature of the 20th century, make their own connections between the assigned reading and also question and actively interpret them as well as create their own critical evaluation.

Teaching practice:
The literary part of the course is inspired by the theory and practice of dialogic teaching (as proposed by Robin Alexander) and by the multimodal approach to teaching. To that end, each class employs a different communicative activity which is used to: (i) introduce students to some possible ways of teaching literature and develops their creative thinking, (ii) enable students to understand the discussed texts on a deeper level and develops their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, (iii) enhances their intercultural awareness and communicative competence.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the semester, students will be able to:
1) identify and describe four major trends of postwar British literature and understand their relationship to British society and culture
2) understand and frame literary works as a form of social commentary which responds to specific social and cultural occurrences
3) develop their skills in analytical reading and proposal writing
4) research, prepare, and write a preparation sheet which meets the requirements of the State Exam in literature.
5) enhance their capacity of creative thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, build their intercultural awareness, and improve communicative competence
  • 1) Introduction to the course: organization, readings, final assignments.
  • 2) The 1950s in context: William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (part 1).
  • 3) From the Consumer Age to A Sense of Crisis: Lord of the Flies (part 2).
  • 4) The 1960s and a Sense of Crisis: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (part 1).
  • 5) Wide Sargasso Sea (part 2).
  • 6) The 1960s: The 'Swinging Sixties,' the 'Psychedelic Sixties,' and the youth subcultures: Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange.
  • 7) Identity, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism in Great Britain: Salman Rushdie (The Prophet’s Hair + Hanif Kureishi (“My Son the Fanatic”).
  • 8) Women of the UK of 1960s: Angel Carter, Doris Lessing.
  • 9) Regionalism; V for Vendetta.
  • 10) The 1990s: Kazuo Ishiguro ("Village after Dark”) + Jeanette Winterson
  • 11) 21st Century Britain.
  • 12) Conclusion of the course.
  • Since we only have six contact sessions, half of the readings will be discussed in our Moodle course.
    required literature
  • The careless statewealth and welfare in Britain today. Edited by Paul Taylor. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2010, ix, 230 p. ISBN 9781849663557. info
    recommended literature
  • DUGGAN, Robert. The grotesque in contemporary British fiction. First published. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013, 276 stran. ISBN 9780719078910. info
  • Ethics and trauma in contemporary British fiction. Edited by Susana Onega Jaâen - Jean-Michel Ganteau. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011, 330 p. ISBN 9789401200080. info
  • The Longman anthology of British literature. Edited by David Damrosch - Kevin J. H. Dettmar. 4th ed. Boston: Longman, 2010, xxiii, s. ISBN 9780205655311. info
  • BRADFORD, Richard. The novel now : contemporary British fiction. 1st pub. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007, vii, 259. ISBN 9781405113861. info
    not specified
  • Contemporary British fiction. Edited by Nick Bentley. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008, xiv, 245 p. ISBN 9780748624201. info
  • A concise companion to contemporary British fiction. Edited by James F. English. Malden: Blackwell, 2006, xi, 281. ISBN 9781405120012. info
  • The contemporary British novel. Edited by James Acheson - Sarah C. E. Ross. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005, iv, 250 p. ISBN 0748618953. info
  • Dark humor and social satire in the modern British novel. Edited by Lisa Colletta. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, 154 p. ISBN 1403963657. info
Teaching methods
Discussion, small group work, lecture, in class writing exercises.
Assessment methods
Literature part:
Participation in collaborative learning and discussion based activities (30%)

Mock state exam preparation sheet (70%).

Culture and social part:
A final quiz.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every other week.
Information on the extent and intensity of the course: kombinované studium: výuka v blocích.
Teacher's information
Students doing their Erasmus study stay abroad and students with IPS are not required to attend the classes, but they are obliged to submit all the required assignments and take the exams.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019, autumn 2020, Autumn 2021, Autumn 2022, Autumn 2023.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2024, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/ped/autumn2024/AJ9301