Writing the Modern World is devoted to the critical and creative study of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature. Its premises are simple yet radical: that writing and reading matter, and that attending to literature and related writings can make a difference both to us and to the world. Writing is understood here not only as what we read but also what we make, and the interrelation of the two activities is central to the life of the MA.
The history of literary writing over the last century-and-a-bit is complex and exciting. It involves the bold experiments of the early twentieth century, the explosion of the anglophone canon to include hitherto unheard voices, and writings from all parts of the globe, the challenging playfulness of postmodernism and the eclectic, hybrid, generically-various texts being written today. Modern and contemporary writing has responded in a variety of ways to the – traumatic or exhilarating – events of the times and to the challenges posed by developments in other media, and has in its turn served to shape our sense of the history out of which it is written. And the idea of the literary has itself been radically transformed in response to rich and challenging theoretical texts, texts which themselves offer various possibilities for writing’s futures.
As a student on Writing the Modern World you will both reflect on and participate in this on-going dynamic of thinking, reading and writing about modern and contemporary literature.