AJ4301 Contemporary British Literature and Society

Faculty of Education
Autumn 2021
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught in person.
Mgr. Lucie Podroužková, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Lucie Podroužková, 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
Timetable of Seminar Groups
AJ4301/01: Wed 22. 9. to Wed 15. 12. Wed 14:00–15:50 učebna 57, L. Podroužková
AJ4301/02: Thu 23. 9. to Thu 16. 12. Thu 16:00–17:50 učebna 57, L. Podroužková
AJ4301/03: Tue 21. 9. to Tue 14. 12. Tue 18:00–19:50 učebna 64, L. Podroužková
Students are familiar with the development of British literature till the beginning of the 20th century, possess advanced reading skills and are familiar with the methods of close reading and textual analysis. Students are comfortable with reading English texts in the original and engage in the said practice.
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 survey course examines the development of British literature throughout the 20th century on the background of historical, social and cultural events. In the seminars we will explore major writers, works and literary movements of the period as well as varied or recurrent themes and motifs in the assigned readings. At the end of the course students will be able to recognize major figures, works, trends and issues in the post 1945 British literature, gain understanding of their sociocultural backdrop, and link these to their professional and personal development.
Learning outcomes
The student:
will read, analyse and interpret modern literary texts written in English both on literary level and in a wider context;
will be able to bridge themes and topics occurring in the readings to their own reality;
will have written a number of short summaries, analyses and arguments based on class readings;
will have read one British novel (or two plays) from the post-1945 period, will identify a topic and formulate an argument, which will be delivered both orally and in the written form;
is able to read and think about, and discuss a wide range of themes, including controversial and tabooed issues, as well as respect and value differing views and stances;
understands literature as a source of sustainable, life-long learning as well as inspiration for their teaching.
  • 1. Introduction to contemporary Britain: British national identity revised in the post-war and post-Brexit context. 2. "A cuppa?" Tradition and sterepotypes in contemporary Britain (Goerge Orwell, Jeremy Paxman, David Lodge and Bill Bryson). 3. Reconstructing Britain after the WWII and the assertion of the young: The Welfare state and Angry Young Men (John Osborne, Kingsley Amis). 4. The 1960s: Swinging London and the Cultural Revolution. Postmodernism in art and literature (John Fowles). 5. Other voices: postmodernism and deconstructing the narrative (Tom Stoppard, Ali Smith). 6. History versus herstory: feminism and contemporary women wrtiers (Angela Carter, Wendy Cope). 7. East and West: postcolonial period and British ethnic writing (Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, Kazuo Ishiguro). 8. Mis/communication in the world of telecommunication and mobile systems (Stevie Smith, Roger McGough, Patrick Marber). 9. Devolution and the boom of regional literatures (Liz Lochhead, Tom Leonard, Jackie Kay). 10. Multiculturalism and urban living (Martin Amis, Benjamin Zephaniah). 11. Student presentations. 12. Student presentations.
  • 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
  • LANE, David. Contemporary British drama. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. vii, 218. ISBN 9780748638222. info
  • The careless statewealth and welfare in Britain today. Edited by Paul Taylor. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2010. ix, 230 p. ISBN 9781849663557. info
  • Contemporary British fiction. Edited by Nick Bentley. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008. xiv, 245 p. ISBN 9780748624201. info
  • BRADFORD, Richard. The novel now : contemporary British fiction. 1st pub. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. vii, 259. ISBN 9781405113861. 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
  • BRADBURY, Malcolm. The modern British novel. London: Penguin Books, 1994. xvi, 515. ISBN 014023098X. info
  • MUSMAN, Richard and D'Arcy ADRIAN-VALLANCE. Britain today. 4. vyd. Harlow: Longman, 1989. iii, 156. ISBN 0582749301. info
  • Political issues in Britain today. Edited by Bill Jones. 3rd ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989. vii, 337 p. ISBN 0-7190-3019-6. info
  • Women in Britain today. Edited by Veronica Beechey - Elizabeth Whitelegg. Milton Keynes, England: Open University Press, 1986. vi, 216 p. ISBN 0-335-15137-X. info
  • BOWKER, John. Worlds of faith : religious belief and practice in Britain today. 1st publ. London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1983. 312 s. ISBN 0563201975. info
  • MORRIS, Robert K. Continuance and change : the contemporary British novel sequence. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972. xx, 164. ISBN 0809305445. info
Teaching methods
Intensive and extensive reading. Textual analysis and interpretation. Pair, group and class discussions on the assigned readings. Writing practice. Presentation practice.
Assessment methods
80% attendance and active participation in the discussions and class tasks. Weekly readings and assignments. 1 novel to read. Final presentation.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Teacher's information
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2017, Autumn 2018, Autumn 2019, autumn 2020, Autumn 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2021, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/ped/autumn2021/AJ4301