Skip to main content

Theorising the Contemporary, Contemporary Theorising


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Sean O'Brien (subject to change)
  • Assessment: a 5000-word essay (100%)

Module description

This module introduces you to a range of contemporary literary, cinematic, visual and theoretical works published since 2000, tracing some of the major developments in contemporary literatures at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Taking in poetry, film, memoir, journalism, television, the novel, the graphic novel, science fiction and digital culture, the module explores the meanings and characteristics of the ‘contemporary’ via a focus on categories like trauma, crisis, memory, futurity, and the digital - terms that have been major preoccupations of cultural production in the last two decades.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have:

  • a comprehensive grounding in key trends and texts in the field of contemporary literature and culture, with a special focus on the post-2000 period
  • engaged in debates about the conceptualisation of the contemporary, using appropriate vocabulary and critical paradigms
  • identified and engaged with key features and characteristics of new forms of writing that have emerged as a result of new technologies
  • developed a multidisciplinary approach to the study of contemporary literature and culture.