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Time for Revolution


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

Module description

This module takes an interdisciplinary approach to reading time, temporality, historicity and durée in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century literature and film. Drawing on theoretical resources from literary criticism, philosophy, political and scientific thought, we will examine canonical and popular modernist and postmodernist literary texts and visual media, considering carefully how theme, narrative and form have responded to reconfigured notions of time. In particular, we will focus on the political implications of various temporal regimes and the way in which historical uprisings or moments of crisis have been conceived throughout the twentieth century and into the new millennium in temporal terms via conceptualisations of static time, linear time, chaos, contingency, periodicity, messianic apertures and utopian rupture.

You will be encouraged to work in interdisciplinary ways, asking questions of - and making connections between - a broad range of philosophical and aesthetic approaches to one of modernity’s most pressing ontological concerns.


  • The Politics of Time: Alain Badiou, E. P. Thompson, Kristin Ross
  • Modernist Time: Virginia Woolf, Henri Bergson
  • Feminist Time: Lizzie Borden, Maya Gonzalez and Jeanne Neton
  • Communist Time: Nanni Balestrini, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin
  • Time Travel: Ted Chiang, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams
  • Postmodern Time: Kurt Vonnegut, Fredric Jameson
  • Riot Time: Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Diane di Prima, Joshua Clover
  • Deep Time: Lars von Trier, Quentin Meillassoux
  • Queer Time: Jordy Rosenberg, José Esteban Muñoz
  • The Ongoing Present: Harmony Korine, Lauren Berlant