Text & Context

Ariel Stein with flagsThe Text and Context terms provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary course that examines literature from Britain and Ireland in the context of the key societal and cultural developments during the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. The dynamic and diverse characteristics of more than one hundred years of English, Irish, and Scottish texts are studied in conjunction with recent developments in literary theory.

Students attend a 1-hour daily lecture given by a guest speaker of established academic reputation, which provides a focused analysis of the critical, theoretical, and historical context of the literature. Following the lecture, students attend a 2-hour seminar and explore the literature through group discussion.

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Course modules

Modernism | 9th – 21st July 2018

The Modernism module examines work by, among others, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys and is designed to address the needs of students of all levels who wish to focus on Modernist aesthetics and explore in more detail this historical and cultural period.

Lectures are complimented by visits to the Scottish Parliament, the National Gallery of Modern Art, and much much more!

Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh, as time will be limited once the programme is underway. The lectures will be pitched high, and lecturers are advised that all students will be familiar with the texts at the time of lecture.

Core texts for the 2018 Summer School, on which the tuition will be based, are listed below in order of study. This reading list will be confirmed in November 2017.

Essential reading:
Selection of imagist poetry*
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories**
Mina Loy, selected poetry and The Feminist Manifesto
J.M. Synge, Playboy of the Western World
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight

Further reading/viewing:***
Hope Mirrlees, ‘Paris’ (available in Collected Poems)
James Joyce, Dubliners
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Man of Aran, dir. Robert J. Flaherty
Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin

*NB: Students are not required to purchase specific volumes of poetry – selected poems for the lecture and seminar will be distributed to all students in advance.

**You are not required to read every story in Mansfield’s Selected Stories, although you are certainly welcome to. Your tutor will inform you if they wish you to read specific stories. The stories that will be discussed specifically in lecture will include the following:
‘At the Bay’
‘Prelude’
‘The Voyage’
‘The Garden Party’
‘The Doll’s House’

***Students are not required to purchase or read texts listed in ‘further reading/viewing’. However, if you are interested in complementary material, these texts will expand your knowledge and discussion of the essential reading list. All of the further reading is available to loan from the University of Edinburgh library or the SUISS library.

For more information on the course, see our SUISS Modernism Syllabus 2018.

 

Scottish Literature | 23rd July – 4th August 2018

The Scottish Literature module spans the twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, beginning with Scottish Modernism and moving through Post-Modern and Contemporary Scottish Literature. The reading list includes poetry by Hugh MacDiarmid, Liz Lochhead and Edwin Morgan, plays by John McGrath and Gregory Burke, and fiction by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Muriel Spark and Alasdair Gray. Alan Riach’s publication What Is Scottish Literature offers a concise introduction to everyone curious about this field. Current developments in Scottish Studies can be followed via the University of Glasgow’s publication Bottle Imp.

Activities include a Ceilidh dance, a Burns Supper, and a formal evening reception at the beautiful Playfair Library.

Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh, as time will be limited once the programme is underway. The lectures will be pitched high, and lecturers are advised that all students will be familiar with the texts at the time of lecture.

Core texts for the 2018 Summer School, on which the tuition will be based, are listed below in order of study. This reading list will be confirmed in November 2017.

Essential reading:
Hugh MacDiarmid, poetry selection*
Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song
Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
John McGrath, The Cheviot, The Stag, and the Black, Black Oil
Gregory Burke, Black Watch
Edwin Morgan and Liz Lochhead, poetry selection*
Alasdair Gray, Poor Things
A.L. Kennedy and Janice Galloway, selected short stories*
David Greig, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
James Robertson, The Testament of Gideon Mack

Further reading/viewing:**
Alasdair Gray, Lanark
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting
Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory
James Robertson, And the Land Lay Still
James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

*NB: Students are not required to purchase volumes of poetry – specific reading selections for these lectures and seminars will be circulated to all students in advance. We will also circulate short stories, but if you would like to purchase a collection, we recommend A.L. Kennedy’s What Becomes and Janice Galloway’s Collected Stories.
**Students are not required to purchase or read texts listed in ‘further reading/viewing’. However, if you are interested in complementary material, these texts will expand your knowledge and discussion of the essential reading list. All of the further reading is available to loan from the University of Edinburgh library or the SUISS library.

For more information on the course, see our SUISS Scottish Literature Syllabus 2018.

 

Contemporary Literature | 6th – 18th August 2018

The Contemporary Literature course covers British and Irish Literature since 1990. Texts include notable works by Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, and Ali Smith, among others, as well as a graphic novel.

This exciting course takes place during the Edinburgh festival season, and includes a performance at the Edinburgh International Festival among many other events.

Students are strongly advised to read as many of the texts as possible before arriving in Edinburgh, as time will be limited once the programme is underway. The lectures will be pitched high, and lecturers are advised that all students will be familiar with the texts at the time of lecture.

Core texts for the 2018 Summer School, on which the tuition will be based, are listed below in order of study. This reading list will be confirmed in November 2017.

Essential reading:
David Greig, Europe
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
Leontia Flynn and Sinéad Morrissey: poetry selection*
Martin McDonagh, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body
Caryl Phillips, The Nature of Blood
Vahni Capildeo: poetry selection*
China Miéville short stories (from Three Moments of an Explosion)

Further reading:**
A.S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Maggie Gee, The Flood
China Miéville, The City and the City
Identity Parade: Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, ed. Roddy Lumsden

*NB: Students are not required to purchase specific volumes of poetry – selected poems for the lecture and seminar will be distributed to all students in advance.
** Students are not required to purchase or read texts listed in ‘further reading/viewing’. However, if you are interested in complementary material, these texts will expand your knowledge and discussion of the essential reading list. All of the further reading is available to loan from the University of Edinburgh library or the SUISS library.

For more information on the course, see our SUISS Contemporary Literature Syllabus 2018.