EGH608 : Literary Language (Narrative and Cognition)

Convener(s): Dr Jo Gavins and Dr Joe Bray


Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course Convenor.

General Information

This module examines the relationship between literary narrative and the human mind. It provides an opportunity for students to explore a variety of cognitive, narratological, and stylistic theories about how literary narrative is structured on the page and conceptualised in the mind. Students will be encouraged to make use of the theories and frameworks they encounter on the module to investigate a diversity of literary texts from a range of different genres and periods.


This unit will be taught mainly by means of a weekly two-hour seminar.
- Each seminar on this module will explore an existing theory (or theories) of the linguistic and/or conceptual structure of literary narrative (Outcome 1). Students will be encouraged to supply their own choice of literary text for analysis and discussion during the seminar (Outcomes 1 and 2).
- Students will be encouraged throughout the module to situate their individual analyses and seminar contributions within a specific disciplinary context and to relate their findings to other work in cognitive linguistics, cognitive poetics, narratology, and stylistics (Outcome 3).
- In the latter part of the semester, students will be encouraged to focus their discussions on the literary text(s) on which their final assessed essay will be based. This will provide opportunities for feedback from both teacher and peers on their research question (Outcome 2), their use of bibliographical resources (Outcome 3), and their understanding of relevant theories and frameworks (Outcome 1).
As well as attending seminars, students will each have two hours of individual tutorials over the course of the semester in order to discuss their final essays. These tutorials will provide an opportunity to focus on all of the outcomes but particularly on the construction of written work that integrates interpretations of texts commenting upon literary style with detailed stylistic analyses (Outcome 4).


This module will be assessed entirely through a 6,000-word essay to be submitted at the end of the semester. Students will be expected to have set an appropriate research question and articulated it in the introduction to the work (Outcome 2). They will also need to have located and appraised a body of primary and secondary material appropriate to the research question they have chosen and have documented it fully in references and bibliography (Outcome 3). In writing about the research question they must show an ability to analyse texts using relevant theoretical frameworks and base that analysis on appropriate works of literature (Outcomes 1 and 2). Finally, the analysis must be put forward by means of a well constructed and clearly written critical essay (Outcome 4).

Contact Details

0114 2220214, 0114 2228489

Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:39:49 PM (BST)

course convener.


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