LIT2000 : Genre

Convener(s): Dr Jonathan Rayner


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

General Information

This module gives you the opportunity to study developments in comedy and tragedy from classical antiquity to the present day. Though the majority of core modules on the English Literature degree offer a series of chronological accounts of discrete periods of literary history, ‘Genre’ enables you to take a broadly comparative approach, setting, for instance, works of classical antiquity along those of the early modern, modern and postmodern worlds, or translated texts from Ancient Greece alongside those of nineteenth-century England. Part of the aim of the module, therefore, is to use genre as a means of drawing connections between periods studied separately at different points on the degree and to resist the compartmentalization of certain forms and styles imposed by a modular degree structure. In demanding that you bring your own encounters with genre to bear on the texts studied in lectures and seminars you are encouraged to reflect upon generic development across a wide variety different media: poetry, prose fiction, drama, photography, opera, cinema, dance, painting, sculpture, radio, television and the internet. Over the course of this module we will consider questions such as: what is genre, and why is it important? How does genre reflect or respond to historical change? Is there any such thing as a “pure” genre or is hybridization a defining feature of genre itself? We’ll answer these questions by reading texts by authors such as Angela Carter, Aristotle, Noel Coward, Thomas Hardy, Sarah Kane, Plautus, William Shakespeare and Sophocles.


2 lectures per week plus a 50-minute seminar


1 x seminar participation mark (10%) 1 x 3000-word essay (90%)

Contact Details

Dr Jonathan Rayner

Information last changed: Monday 10th of August 2015 :: 12:40:09 PM (BST)

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


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