LIT240 : Spooks and Surveillance in Modern British Literature

Convenor(s): Prof Adam Piette


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

This module offers a survey of the spy novel as popular genre and as trope for literary writing in twentieth century literature. Ranging from Joseph Conrad to John Banville, the course will familiarize students with the representations of the espionage thriller, explore how modes of composition in high cultural fictions `borrow’ their methodology from the genre, and invite students to construct their own theory of paranoid writing as imitation game. After an introduction to the field’s theoretical issues, the module will have sections on the genre classics, the spy trope in the 1930s, Second World War and Cold War writing, espionage and modernist writing, Bletchley, Berlin, the Cambridge spies.


1 lecture + 1 seminar per week for 11 weeks.


2 essays, 2000 and 2500 words, weighted 40% / 60% + presentation.

Contact Details

Prof Adam Piette, 0114 222 8494

Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:26 PM (BST)


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK