English Literature MA

Power and Resistance: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Literature ENGLIT4094

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In light of local and global imperatives to decolonise, contemporary Irish and Scottish literature offers a particular insight into questions of the postcolonial, anticolonial, semicolonial and internally colonial as they are mobilised critically and aesthetically. Through literary, theoretical and cultural texts, students will engage comparatively with the specificities of post-1945 literature of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. We will consider how the resistances they offer may be connected and contextualised against their shared and divergent constitutional situations and, beyond this, reflect on the formation of Irish and Scottish literature as a disciplinary field now and in the future.


1 x 2hr seminar each week over ten weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT3005 Irish and Scottish Literature post 1900 Level 3


Critical exercise (1000 words): 25%

Essay (3000 words): 60%

Group [paired] presentation of 7-10 minutes [graded individually]: 15%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Familiarise students with Irish and Scottish literature in the contemporary period;

■ Enable students to understand how this literature has been shaped by the historical power structures out of which it is produced;

■ Encourage students to critically engage with questions of form, representation, and language;

■ Consider literary texts in relation to theoretical, cultural and historical contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Situate Irish and Scottish literature of the period within a critically and historically informed comparative framework;

■ Discern connections and contrasts between specific literatures and texts in a nuanced and culturally informed manner; 

■ Evaluate a range of texts within a framework of colonial legacies and ongoing constitutional change across the period 1945-present;

■ Deal with new challenges by applying disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions;

■ Demonstrate resilience and time management through effectively planning, undertaking and submitting coursework, and coherently frame arguments in both oral and written form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.