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Unit information: Introduction to Literature and Community Engagement 1 in 2018/19

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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 Mrs. Thomas-Hughes
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This units provides students with a firm grounding in both the principles and practices of community-engaged service learning, as understood within and outside of higher education institutions. Students will have the opportunity to engage with contemporary critical debates around what constitutes ‘community’ and will consider this in relation to their own ideas for community-engaged service learning projects. Students will consider community-engaged service learning in the context of the study of literature, literacies and related areas such as literacy and oral histories/culture.


This unit aims to give students a critical theoretical grounding in the principles and practices of community-engaged service learning and contemporary debates which problematise ideas of ‘community’ and ‘community engagement’ in a way that will assist them in designing and running their own projects 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 and service-learning
2) Consider the relevance of such work to the study of literature or literacy
3) Demonstrate understanding and the ability to apply relevant theoretical frameworks and/or issues to their own development of community-engaged service learning projects.

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

Formative: 1 x 500 word account of community-engaged project plan (ILO 1 - 3 )

Summative: 1 x reflective essay (3000 words) (ILOs 1 - 3)

Reading and References

Indicative reading list:

Attree, P., French, B., Milton, B., Povall, S., Whitehead, M., & Popay, J. (2011). The experience of community engagement for individuals: A rapid review of evidence. Health and Social Care in the Community, 19(3), 250–260.

Danielson, S., & Fallon, A. M., 2008. Community-Based Learning and the Work of Literature, Wiley.

Dolgon, C., Mitchell, T.D., Eatman, T. K., (Eds.) 2017. The Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Community Engagement.

Hall, B. L. (2009). Higher Education, Community Engagement, and the Public Good: Building the Future of Continuing Education in Canada. Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education, 35(2), 11–23.

Hooks, Bell. 2003. Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, Routledge

MacQueen, K. M., McLellan, E., Metzger, D. S., Kegeles, S., Strauss, R. P., Scotti, R., … Trotter, R. T. (2001). What is community? An evidence-based definition for participatory public health. American Journal of Public Health, 91(12).