This unit encourages students to critically engage with and analyse a variety of historical and contemporary literary, visual and performance texts. By examining the role of storytelling in literature and visual art, they will learn to respond to texts in imaginative and critical ways. In developing methodologies for reading and interpreting texts, the unit will investigate the trope of the hero/heroine's journey in literature and visual art. This will culminate in a detailed study of a contemporary novel. The students will also investigate the roles of the hero and heroine in popular culture and in doing so will be introduced to several current theoretical perspectives.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse and engage with visual and literary texts.  
  2. Demonstrate a range of theoretical perspectives through expressions of popular culture.  
  3. Examine the theme of storytelling in a contemporary novel.  
  4. Collaborate in the production and sharing of knowledge in a contemporary academic setting.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Portfolio Two writing activities that identify key themes in a range of visual and literary texts. (800 words) 30%
Essay Essay analysing key texts in the unit. (1,200 words) 50%
Presentation In-class presentation involving the application of analytical and interpretive techniques in response to popular cultural texts. 20%

Required reading

Unit Reader will be available in the bookshop and online resources will be provided via links on the LMS for this unit.

Life of Pi
Martel, Yann.,(2012)
London, Canongate

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