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Unit information: James Joyce in 2020/21

Unit name James Joyce
Unit code ENGL30045
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Bennett
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit will expose students to the whole range of the work of one of the major authors of the twentieth-century. James Joyce is central to the modernist movement and one of the most influential writers of his time, and of all time. A unit entirely devoted to Joyce's work will give students the opportunity to develop the extensive background knowledge and complex reading skills necessary to engage properly with this hugely challenging but also immensely enjoyable writer. The unit will develop students' skills in reading modernist texts and offer them detailed knowledge of the literary, cultural, biographical, national, political, religious and other contexts necessary for an understanding of Joyce's work. The unit will be organised chronologically, beginning with the early poems and Exiles and devoting two or three weeks to each of the major works before concluding with a discussion of excerpts from Joyce's most formidable novel, Finnegans Wake.

Students will be given the opportunity to submit a draft or outline of their final, summative essay of up to 1,500 words and to receive feedback on this.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have (1) developed a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of the writings of James Joyce; (2) in-depth knowledge of some of the literary and historical contexts in which Joyce's work was produced; (3) demonstrated the ability to analyse and evaluate differing critical accounts of the primary literature; (4) demonstrated the ability to identify and evaluate pertinent evidence in order to illustrate/demonstrate a cogent argument; (5) strengthened their skills in argumentation and academic writing.

Teaching details

Teaching will involve asynchronous and synchronous elements, including group discussion, research and writing activities, and peer dialogue. Students are expected to engage with the reading and participate fully with the weekly tasks and topics. Learning will be further supported through the opportunity for individual consultation.

Assessment Details

  • 1 x 3500 word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-5]

Reading and References

  • James Joyce, Dubliners (1914), ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford, 2008)
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford, 2008)
  • James Joyce, Ulysses (1922) , ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford, 2008)
  • James Joyce, Poems and Exiles, ed. J.C.C. Mays (Penguin, 1992)
  • Katherine Mullin, James Joyce, Sexuality and Social Purity (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
  • Suzette A. Henke, James Joyce and the Politics of Desire (Routledge, 1990)