LIT247 : LIT247 Cold War Fiction and Film

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

The module will consider different phases of the Cold War and explore the relationship between Cold War history and key literary texts and films. There will be four main areas of concern:
    - the Cold War City (Vienna and Berlin), looking at the Carol Reed films The Third Man and The Man Between, and spy novels by Le Carré and Len Deighton.
    - the Bomb, looking at texts by John Hersey, Philip K. Dick and Nevil Shute; and the films Threads and Dr. Strangelove.
    - the brainwashing movie The Manchurian Candidate (1959), dir. John Frankenheimer
    - Radiation Paranoia, looking at Losey’s film The Damned and Leslie Marmon Silko's novel, Ceremony


Teaching takes the form of two weekly 1 hour seminars, over eleven weeks. The seminars will be discussion led, will provide structure and direction for students’ own reading and assessment preparation, and will introduce the aims and promote the outcomes of the course in detail. The remaining 178 hours of study for this module are to be divided between seminar preparation (directed reading) and individual research. There will be a series if screenings of the principal films, and copies of each film will be available from the School DVD library.


Two hours of seminars every week for eleven weeks — one hour will be devoted to group discussion of the weekly assigned reading/viewing, with appropriate close analysis of the texts and historical/cultural overview. The second hour will consist of 10-minute student presentations of initial drafts/ideas for their seminar essays plus discussion, followed by a group work session aimed at analysis of material providing supplementary historical and theoretical contexts for the core texts being studied that week.

2 essays, 1500 and 2500 words, weighted 40%/60%

Contact Details

Prof Adam Piette 0114 222 8494

Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:24 PM (BST)


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