The Giants of Literature elective is an expansive exploration of the literary canon, equipping students with the cultural capital that will benefit their future studies in English and the Humanities, and, more importantly, make them interesting and popular dinner guests long into the future. Students study a breadth of texts across key movements and genres, from the medieval epic Beowulf and Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, to the Metaphysical poets of the English Renaissance, to iconic Modernist writers like W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf. From Keats to Duffy, transcendentalism to modernism, sonnet to structural mayhem – students will be rewarded with a great bird’s eye view of how some of the big universal themes of literature have developed over time, and how the great cannon of literature continues to challenge and inspire our lives in the 21st Century. Students will also be invited to question how we should ‘understand’ the literary canon. Is it just about ‘dead white males’, or have we become more expansive in our celebration of great works?

1. Responding analytically (50%)
2. Comparing texts (25%)
3. Responding in spoken form (25%)