MA Creative Writing options
Year 1, Component 06
Creative Writing option from list
Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills
Are you ready for your dissertation? Examine a variety of research methods and methodologies, building the research skills and understanding needed to complete your postgraduate-level research project.
What inspires a writer? How do you develop your idea? What about plotting, character, structure and setting? Explore the general principles of developing a novel from initial inspiration to final draft. Undertake practical exercises to find out which writing methods best suit you and your ideas.
A new genre of literature has been emerging: moving between fiction, history, traveller's tales, and memoir, it explores the spirit of place. This tradition of “psychogeography” has been most vividly taken up and given a new contemporary twist by writers in the eastern stretches of England, in the work of writers such as Ronald Blythe, W.G. Sebald and Iain Sinclair. This module is concerned with writing on the landscape of this region – the ways the wilder reaches of Essex and Suffolk have been depicted – and allows you to develop your critical and creative writing about place.
This module usually involves a walking tour around Colchester where we will have the chance to explore these literary landscapes and experience these worlds for ourselves. Students will incur travel costs of approximately £2.50 for this trip.
Want to write your own stage plays? Have an idea of a screenplay? Learn about the range of contemporary plays and possibilities that exist within contemporary drama. Develop your own work, discussing topics like dialogue, construction of plot and structure of scenes within a supportive and creative environment.
What are the challenges when researching Shakespeare? What about other early-modern literature? Explore major critical approaches linked to key Shakespeare texts. Gain in-depth knowledge of works, their contexts and critical achievements. Build your own research skills, with training in archival research alongside mastering of a range of resources.
Screenwriting is a vital part of the filmmaking process and this module will introduce you to the practical aspects of writing for the screen; from initiating ideas through to structuring a story, characterisation, dialogue and formatting.
Crossing the Boundaries: Literature and Translation in a Global Context
This module explores the practice and theory of translating literary texts in a global context. We will discuss issues related to literary form and genre, analysing translations of epic and lyric poetry, prose fiction, and classical and modern drama. We will examine the changes in the cultural status of translation from the ancient times to the present, analysing ways in which translations have contributed to the dissemination and reception of texts.
The module considers literary translation as an act of crossing national borders and linguistic and cultural boundaries and an activity that allows diverse literary cultures to come into contact. We will explore literary translation in a global context, discussing historical moments in which literary texts and their translations originate, and focusing on the questions of power and ideology, feminism and gender, and cultural hegemony and postcolonialism. We will also focus on the political and philosophical debates that literary translations have provoked.
Beginning with the influential case of the Wilde trial in the final years of the Victorian period, the module traces some of the main strands of queer culture throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As well as reading a selection of classic works of gay and lesbian fiction, you will also engage with journalism, letters, essays, memoir, visual art, documentary, film drama, and queer theory. Drawing on these varied sources, we will explore the modern cultural history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gender-diverse people.
Topics addressed include: the shifting status of same-sex desire in western culture; homosexuality in the nineteenth century; gay rights in the twentieth century; gay and lesbian fiction and memoir; constructions of gender and sexuality within medical and psychiatric discourse; intersectionality; black lesbian feminism; discourse, knowledge, and power; the Stonewall uprising and its precursors; the AIDS epidemic; the New Queer Cinema; transgender identity and activism; queer theory; LGBTQ Hollywood and world cinema; and contemporary queer culture.
The module takes a comparative, interdisciplinary approach in order to show how the topics addressed have been taken up in different mediums and in varying cultural and historical contexts. While much of our focus will be on historical examples, consideration will be given throughout to how the texts on the syllabus illuminate present-day issues and debates.
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