English Literature MA

Modern American Women's Writing ENGLIT4097

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines a range of work by both celebrated and neglected modern American women writers from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Writers and topics may include: women's crime fiction; recent African American writing; female Gothic; women and illness/madness; Sylvia Plath; women in Hollywood; girls' stories; Edith Wharton; and famous "others" (Zelda Fitzgerald, mythologised as the mad wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald; and Alice James, invalid sister of Henry).


1 x 1hr seminar per week over ten weeks, 5 x 1hr workshops over 10 weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus.

1 x 5hr mini-conference TBA


This is one of the Honours options in English Literature and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4067  Modern American Women's Writing


Essay (1500 words): 25%

Essay (3000 words): 50%

Seminar and workshop contribution: 10%

Conference presentation of 7 minutes: 15%

Main Assessment In: April/May

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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ examine a range of work by modern American women writers in a variety of genres

■ encourage a critical engagement with, and appreciation of, the value of work outside standard surveys of the period

■ provide an understanding of the shifting social, political, cultural and critical contexts of the age

■ develop students' skills and confidence in presenting their own ideas in a public space.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ employ a critical knowledge of a range of work by modern American women writers

■ think critically and independently with reference both to a range of primary and diverse secondary/critical sources

■ assess the shifting social, political, cultural and critical contexts of the age

■ communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument.

■ demonstrate resilience and time management through effectively planning, undertaking and submitting coursework.

■ deal with change and new challenges by applying their disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions.

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.