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Modernist Fiction (Non-credit)

Course Times & Enrolment

Thursdays from 26th September 2019 (Code LI333-101) Thursdays from
26th September 2019 6:30pm - 8:20pm • (10 classes)
M1, Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Reena Sastri BA PGDE PhD
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

In the early decades of the 20th century, modernist writers developed distinctive new strategies in order to capture and explore the experience of modern life. By looking at short and longer fiction, we shall examine a number of diverse, innovative and challenging works. We shall discuss not only texts but also contexts and relevant critical debates to ground our reading. No prior knowledge is necessary.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No prior knowledge is required.

Content of Course

Week 1. Introduction

Week 2. Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories

Weeks 3-4. James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Weeks 5-6. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

Week 7. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Week 8. Nella Larsen, Passing

Weeks 9-10. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Teaching method(s)

Teaching is based around guided discussion, with contextualisation and introductory material supplied by the tutor.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to

  • read actively rather than passively
  • demonstrate a working knowledge of the vocabulary of literary analysis
  • explain and apply correctly terms such as ‘modern’ and postmodern’.
  • assess and account for the form, structure and content of the texts studied


Core Readings


Ellison, Ralph. 2001. Invisible Man (1952). London: Penguin.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. 2000. The Great Gatsby (1925). London: Penguin.

Joyce, James. 2000. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). London: Penguin

Larsen, Nella. 2001. Passing. (1929) In The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen. New York:

Anchor/ Random House.

Mansfield, Katherine. 2008. Selected Stories, ed. by Angela Smith. Oxford World's Classics.

Woolf, Virginia. 1992. To the Lighthouse (1927). London: Penguin

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.