Our online MA in Literature and Culture enables you to explore innovative and diverse texts and their many different contexts – historical, social and political. Your engagement will focus on themes at the forefront of contemporary culture, including identity politics, Otherness, and the environment. Online learning offers you the benefits of flexible opportunities to hone your critical and analytical skills with plenty of support from our research-active academic staff. You’ll also gain advanced research skills and have the opportunity to pursue your own research interests via a 13,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice. Twenty-first century literary scholarship challenges readers to engage with the cultural impact of globally significant issues such as sustainability, cultural difference and race relations, and inclusivity with regards to intersectional identities. The modules on this Master’s programme are specifically designed to develop students’ critical understanding of literature and related forms of cultural expression (film, music, and the visual arts) within these frameworks. Students will undertake three of the four following modules as part of their MA programme of study: Our students come from a broad range of disciplines, with many attracted to our module on vampire fiction, “Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture”. Going beyond Gothic studies, this topic has generated national media interest and the accompanying Open Graves, Open Minds Project hosted by Herts’ Literature department is an important online research tool for our students and all those interested in Gothic studies, the fantastic and the magical in fiction and folklore. In our ground-breaking “US Culture and #BlackLivesMatter” module you’ll engage with diverse contemporary texts ranging from novels and non-fiction to film, music, art, and television to consider the meaning of blackness and racial identity in twenty-first century American culture. As inspired by the social justice movement against racism and violence from which it takes its name, this module foregrounds the diversity of black life, enabling students to engage with diverse cultural texts on topics such as identity, violence, politics, love, Otherness, and queerness. This innovative module has also been featured on BBC Radio 6 and The Independent. It seems paradoxical that our complex contemporary world is characterised both by digital ‘interconnectedness’ and increasing experiences of fragmentation and isolation. One way to explore this is to scrutinise how the twentieth century ushered in an ever more urban and cosmopolitan world interconnected via networks of communication and transport as well as cultural networks of influence and exchange. Our “Networks of Modernism” module challenges more traditional versions of the modernist literary canon and considers an exciting range of early twentieth-century texts written at a time when ideas about gender, race, class and sexuality were changing rapidly. It explores a broad range of topics and tropes, from war to parties, from subways to greenwoods, from urban poverty to salon culture, from the behaviour of crowds to sexual transgression and taboo - and locations as diverse as Bloomsbury and Harlem, Dublin and Alabama. It engages with recent theoretical debates about modernist writing, including deconstructive, psychoanalytic, spatial and queer approaches.
We normally require at least an upper second class Honours (or equivalent) degree with a significant element (at least 50%) of Literature. Graduates with an Honours Degree in any discipline who have otherwise demonstrated potential to succeed at postgraduate level in Literature will also be considered. 2 references, at least one academic. All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other bands.
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