Subject: ENGL10002 Literature and Performance
2 Comments on ENGL10002 Literature and Performance
Covers literature before the modernist period. Enjoyment is likely to depend upon your partiality to the texts. If you despise every solitary syllable of the works covered, there ain’t much the rest of the subject can do to redeem itself. This is an extremely well coordinated subject. Guest lecturers are enthusiastic and knowledgable, the over-arching themes of the subject thought-provoking, the range of text covered marvellously diverse and the assessments well organised. If you have interest in doing further study throughout your degree in Early Modern theatre or poetry and novels from the Romantic period, start here. If you’re not interested in a taste, compare the reading list for this to that of Modern and Contemporary Lit and pick your favourite. The assessment can be a shock to the system for some; it’s a very different way of writing about literature to that which you may have experienced at high-school. But this is an excellent introduction to the kinds of processes that will form the bedrock of your academic writing if you continue with English and Theatre Studies. Word to the not-yet-wise: be prepared for the large volume of reading! This course includes some pretty hefty novels, and you want to be engaging with the texts as much as possible. My advice would be to get going in the summer if you can. Get a head start.
Literature and Performance is an excellent subject. The texts studied ranged from Shakespeare through to realist theatre in the 19th century, and included Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Romantic poetry by Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge, etc., Romeo and Juliet, Othello, A Doll's House, and The Cherry Orchard. There was also and Australian work called The Forger's Wife, which wasn't the best book, but overall the texts were fascinating and enjoyable. Most of the lecturers are very knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter - my two favourites were the brilliant Dr David McInnis, who taught the Shakespeare plays, and Prof. Peter Otto, who specialises in Romantic poetry. These two lecturers were enjoyed by almost every student, as far as I could tell, with Peter Otto even getting applause at the end of his lectures, and plenty of laughs throughout. The assessment was comprised of three essays and one very short in-class presentation. The presentation involves a simple summing-up of the week's reading and was quite straightforward. The essays were manageable and you get to choose from and interesting range of topics, but make sure you're organised about researching and writing with plenty of time to go! Obviously an interest in literature and reading is essential - if you're not really a frequent reader, the load of approximately one book per week might be a bit much for you!