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Unit information: Introduction to Literature and Community Engagement 1 in 2016/17

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Unit name Introduction to Literature and Community Engagement 1
Unit code ENGL10051
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Gareth Griffith
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit is designed to introduce students to the uses of literature in community settings and to engagement work more widely. Through seminars with experts in these fields, students will have an opportunity to gain insight into the developing regional and national agenda related to universities, learning, and community outreach, and to develop practical skills for running a community project such as a reading group as part of their future studies.


This unit aims to give students a firm grounding in both the principles and practices of community engagement, as understood within and outside universities, and especially as related to the field of literary study and related areas such as literacy, oral culture and cultural studies. This unit is intended to give students a theoretical grounding that will assist them in running a community engagement project later in their studies.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1) explain a variety of approaches to community engagement

2) explain the relevance of such work to literary study

3) demonstrate a grounding in theoretical issues relevant to work in later units, where students will establish a reading group in the community.

Teaching details

8 x 3-hour seminars throughout the year and 1 x 4.5 hour conference

Assessment Details

Reflective essay of up to 4000 words (100%) [ILOs 1-3]

Reading and References

Jeremy Brent, Searching for Community (Policy Press, 2009).

Susan Danielson and Ann Marie Fallon, Community-Based Learning and the Work of Literature (Wiley, 2008).

bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (Routledge, 2003).

Adrienne Rich, ‘Towards a Woman-Centred University’ in On Lies, Secrets and Silence (Norton, 1995).

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Outside in the Teaching Machine (Routledge Classics 2009)

David Watson, Managing Civic and Community Engagement (Open University, 2007).