Contemporary literary texts emerge from different cultural and institutional settings. In this seminar, we will examine diverse literary genres such as poetry, the short story and the novel, but also non-fictional forms like the essay and autobiographical texts. We will explore the formal aspects of these texts, examining them also in institutional contexts such as literary prizes and journals. In this way, we will analyse how value judgements of literature are being made, self-reflexively tracing also our own processes of evaluation. The seminar intends to introduce students to a wide range of literary texts from different Anglophone cultural contexts. A further aim is also to sharpen analytic skills as well as more creative forms of academic writing.
In preparation for the course, please read Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other (2019). A variety of shorter texts will be provided online.