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Semester 1

George Orwell and the Politics of Literature (ENLI10335)

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English Literature





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Visiting students must have completed 4 English Literature courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses, and we do not consider civilisation & other interdisciplinary courses, freshman seminars, writing/composition courses or film/cinema/media courses; visiting students who have taken multiple courses in literature in other languages, should have passed at least one course in English Literature as well. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission, and priority will be given to students studying on exchange within English Literature. **This is an *Option* course. Please note that students can only enrol in one Core and/or one Option 3rd year English Literature course per semester, with no exception. Students enrolled in this course therefore cannot enrol in any further Option courses during this semester** Please note that 3rd year English Literature courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

George Orwell bore witness to many of the definitive political events of the first half of the twentieth century and expanded the boundaries of a variety of genres. This course places Orwell's work in its historical context, and asks what it means to make political writing into an art.

Course Description

George Orwell is one of the most famous writers of the twentieth century, and terms such as 'Orwellian', 'Big Brother', and '1984' have entered the language. But Orwell was more than the author of 'Animal Farm' and 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. He dedicated his life to making political writing into an art, and he bore witness to many of the definitive events and movements of the first half of the century: the Great Depression, imperial decline, communism, fascism, and wars that defined the modern world. Through his work we can gain an unparalleled insight into the cultural debates of the 1930s and 40s, and also examine the political uses of a variety of genres: the realist novel, the documentary and the travelogue, satire and dystopia, the essay and the allegorical fable. The course will therefore consider the relationship between text and context as well as the formal issues involved in bringing politics into literature, and question what it means to talk of the 'politics of literature' more generally.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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