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English at LJMU | Third Year, Semester Two:

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Related posts: First year | Second year | Third year, semester one

Today, I’m bringing you the final instalment of my Studying English @ LJMU posts (I know, I can’t believe it either. I’m nearly finished with university *cue mad panicking*).

This post will focus on the second semester of my final year, but the links to my other posts are provided above. These posts are specifically tailored to a degree in English at LJMU, but they give an insight to how an English degree may be structured. I will have a post dedicated to whole experience (so essay, reading lists, etc.) up next week.

As with my last semester, I was completing a year-long module alongside two semester-long modules. Funnily enough (I say funnily because this seems to be a running thing now), I had one module I truly loved and another I absolutely hated. I obviously, yet again, didn’t learn my lesson. Pick modules you will enjoy!


Dissertation:

Now that my dissertation is uploaded, I can finally discuss my research. As I said in my last post, I didn’t have any set reading. It was entirely my own work and of my own choosing. I aimed to think of a question, provide an argument and a conclusion alongside a substantial amount of research.

I have been a devoted Brontë fan for a while now, and I couldn’t let my passion go to waste. I chose to write 8,000 words on marriage and class in Charlotte’s Shirley, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. My research was solely on the female experience of marriage, and therefore I only focused on the female characters. I dedicated my first chapter (my introduction) to Victorian marriage. Although a very depressing topic, it was interesting nonetheless. I then allocated each novel to their own chapter, and spent around 2,000 words analysing this relationship.

I really enjoyed writing and researching this, and I totally wish it was longer. I can upload a more detailed post on my dissertation if it’s something you’re interested in!


Vamps & Villains:

This module was concerned with the enduring popularity of Gothic fiction and how it has developed over the last two centuries. We analysed how the genre is susceptible to remodelling by new generation of writers, and how cultural and historical contexts have shaped the genre. Additionally, we analysed supernatural motifs (vampire and ghosts), as well as things like rape, incest and psychology. This module was primarily based around theory, which enriched our overall reading experience.

I really enjoyed this module. Half of the literature was from the 19th century, and the other half was genuinely enjoyable 20th century lit. I liked how contextual factors play a vital part in the making of Gothic fiction. I’ve learnt a huge amount about the anxieties of the 19th century, and how writers manipulate these into intense stories.

Books I read: Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Stoker’s Dracula, Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Hill’s The Woman in Black, and Brite’s Lost Souls.


Representing Masculinities:

This module introduced me to the history and theoretical framework of Masculinity Studies. I looked at how masculinity was depicted in texts, and how they relate to broader cultural issues like postmodernity, feminism, sexuality, and violence. We looked at how things like the feminist movement, transgender awareness, the law regarding homosexuality, and the self all feed in to the larger narrative concerning masculinity.

I didn’t really enjoy this module. I’m not interested in analysing masculine depictions in literature (unless it’s to do with the Byronic hero). I only chose this module because, out of the bunch, it was the only semi-decent one. The indicative reading wasn’t the best; all the novels were built on misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Although they contribute to contemporary masculinity, they weren’t fun to read.

Books I read: Fleming’s Casino Royale, Ford’s ‘Rock Springs’, McEwan’s Enduring Love, Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Hollinghurst’s The Swimming Pool Library, Kay’s Trumpet, and Proulx’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’.


…and there you have it! A detailed insight to my final semester at university. Although I have applied (and received an offer!!) for a postgraduate degree at the University of Liverpool, my journey with Liverpool John Moores is coming to an end. Studying English in a city I love has been such a privilege.

What do you study (if you’re in university)?

Thanks for reading, Lauren X

3 thoughts on “English at LJMU | Third Year, Semester Two:

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