Module title: Everyday Life in 20th Century Literature and Film

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CLP09127
Module leader: Tara Thomson
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Humanities and Culture

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

2019/0, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Tara Thomson
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Teaching will involve weekly lectures giving the critical and socio-cultural context for each of the module’s core texts/films, and will also model the kinds of analysis required in engaging with the primary texts and films (LOs 1, 2, 3 and 4). In tutorials, you will then have the opportunity to deploy these analytic strategies yourself in a student-centred learning environment. From the first week of the module you will be actively addressing LOs 1, 2 and 3 in tutorials, and as the module progresses and you develop confidence and expertise you will also engage with LOs 4 and 5 through formative assessment activities. The assignments are designed to help you critically engage with module content (LOs 1,2,3), to learn how to meaningfully apply theory to texts (LO4), while also learning valuable skills in digital research and knowledge production (LO5). Emphasis will be placed on independent learning, reading and scholarship (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), and this independent learning will be documented throughout the trimester in a blogging assignment (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). Blogs will be shared with the class and used to shape tutorial discussions, providing you with peer and tutor feedback on your ideas, and helping you to develop your critical analyses of the content to meet LOs 2, 3 and 4 in discussions and in the final essay. You will also build a substantial body of relevant secondary research through independent and collaborative work (LO5). A range of interactive and creative learning and teaching methods will be used to cater for different learning styles, including interactive discussion, individual oral contributions and small group work, independent research, reading and writing, in-class writing workshops, online discussion and listening.

This module will build on your previous experiences of written assessment from years 1 and 2 and add news types of learning and assessment, including writing for the web, writing for a public audience, and using open-source digital research and writing tools. You will be able to use and further develop these newfound skills in some further option modules in years 3 and 4. The module’s approach to learning and assessment, which is focused on independent learning and iteratively-developed written work, will help build your skills in developing arguments from your own research questions, drafting and revising written work, all of which will be crucial for subsequent coursework on your degree programme (particularly the 4th-year dissertation). Producing an iteratively-developed essay on this module will encourage you to self-reflexively explore each stage of developing a high-quality critical project.

Formative Assessment:
Students will undertake 2 structured formative assessments on this module:

1) A group blog, with a rolling deadline for individual posts from week 2 to week 12 (LOs 1,2,3,4,5). Students will join a group blog at the beginning of the trimester, and each student will write at least six blog entries about assigned readings and how they apply to your final essay topic, your understanding of everyday life and twentieth-century literature and film, and your own learning interests. The blog will be organised around specific weekly prompts provided by the tutor, which are designed to develop your ideas for the final essay. Blog posts will be used to feed into and shape tutorial discussion each week, providing opportunity for formative feedback from peers, and those posts can be adapted for inclusion in the final essay.

2) Annotated bibliography (LOs 3 and 5): By week 7, each student group will compile a collaborative annotated bibliography around a chosen keyword, using a free web-based research management tool. Bibliographies will be shared with the rest of the class after completion, so all students will have a large body of research on which to draw.

Formative written feedback from the tutor will be provided in week 9/10. Feedback will reflect on all formative tasks completed to date, and will focus on supporting final essay development.

Summative Assessment:
Students will undertake two summative assessments on this module:

1) A 2,500-word web-based, iteratively-developed essay (worth 75% of grade), due in week 14 (LOs 1,2,3,4,5): By ‘iteratively developed’, I mean that you will gradually compose this paper over the trimester, rather than all at once at the end. Structured formative activities on the blog across the trimester should be used to guide your writing and thinking on your chosen topic. The essay will be published digitally, and as such, will take advantage of the flexibility and features of a digital platform, including embedded multimedia content and hyperlinks.

2) Participation (worth 25% of grade), assessed throughout weeks 2-12 (LOs 1,2,3,4,5): Participation will be assessed by adequate and timely completion of the structured formative activities across the module, both in class and outside of class, as well as contributions to classroom discussions and activities.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Tutorial 10
Face To Face Lecture 20
Independent Learning Guided independent study 170
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 75 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 14/15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2500
Discussion/Participation 25 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 12 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 75
Component 2 subtotal: 25
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

You will explore representations of everyday life in 20th century literature and film, both in English and in translation. Everyday life seems a fairly obvious concept, but as Maurice Blanchot has argued, ‘the everyday is what is most difficult to discover … the everyday escapes’. While the everyday is a profoundly democratic concept – everyone has an everyday life, after all – the everyday has also been the prime battle ground of ideology in modern times, the space in each our lives most thoroughly infiltrated by the values of those in power, mass media, and commodities. Exploring representations of everyday life in 20th century literature and film will help you gain insight into the production and development of modernity, the diversity of modern experience across cultures, and the ways in which our daily lives have been shaped over time by ideological myths. Throughout this module, you will engage with theories of modernity, aesthetics, and cultural politics to ask how literature and film represent, defamiliarise, and critique everyday life in the modern world. In keeping with the ephemerality of everyday practices and materials, you will also engage extensively with digital media and tools on this module. You will explore relevant digital archives, such as the Mass Observation Archive, Woolf Online and the BFI: Britain on Film archive, and learn to use digital platforms for learning, writing, and research. Indicative topics include: the everyday and the serial novel, boredom in literature and film, avant-garde aesthetics and the extraordinary, archiving the everyday, war and the suspension of everyday life, gendered everyday practices, and non-western representations of the everyday.

Capturing the rhythms and practices of everyday life has been a central preoccupation for many twentieth-century authors and filmmakers, including Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Luis Buñuel, Jean-Luc Godard, and others. On this module, you will study a selection of key literary and cinematic works to build a critical understanding of the different ways authors and filmmakers have responded to changes in everyday life across the twentieth century. Henri Lefebvre argues that everyday life as we now know it took shape in the 1910s and 20s, so the module will begin with works from that period such as Dorothy Richardson’s Pointed Roofs or Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. We will then look at how European avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century, such as surrealism, aimed to defamiliarise the everyday, unveiling the extraordinary within the ordinary. We will then explore mid-twentieth century works, like Elizabeth Bowen’s The Heat of the Day and Alain Resnais’ film Hiroshima Mon Amour, that deal with the impact of total war on everyday life. The last part of the module will look at non-western works such as Yasujiro Ozu’s film Tokyo Story and The Master of Go (in translation) by Yasunari Kawabata, to explore everyday life and modernity as global theoretical constructs. Throughout, we will examine how social, political, and technological changes in everyday life underpin modern movements in literature and film. The module does not chart an evolution of everyday life through the early twentieth century, but instead focuses on different strategies that authors and filmmakers have used to grapple with the problems and potential of everyday life. Throughout the module, we will put our core texts in dialogue with interdisciplinary readings theorising everyday life, including the works of Henri Lefebvre, Michel de Certeau, and Harry Harootunian.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Demonstrate an understanding of everyday life as a theoretical construct emerging from cultural, political and technological modernity.
LO2: Critically reflect on a wide range of 20th century texts and visual media, in written and verbal form.
LO3: Examine the relationship between innovations in literary and visual form and the historico-cultural contexts from which they emerge.
LO4: Develop competencies in applying theoretical concepts to literary and cinematic texts, in written and verbal form.
LO5: Develop competencies in using digital tools for humanities research.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
CLP09127 Everyday Life in 20th Century Literature and Film