Course List & Descriptions

Course Code Course Title Units
ENGE5210 Advanced Studies in Literature
The course provides students with an opportunity to explore the foundational genres of literature – fiction, drama, and poetry — at an advanced level. Students will be expected to understand and utilize technical terms for the study of literature as well as enrich their overall awareness of the history of Western literature from ancient times to the present.
ENGE5220 Literature and Pedagogy
This course focuses on the art of teaching literature in the classroom, and the subject will be studied from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. Students will learn about contemporary theories of pedagogy as well as practice conducting discussions of literary texts. Particular attention will be given to the English-as-a-second-language environment of Hong Kong, and the particular challenges and opportunities this presents.
ENGE5230 Major Author(s)
An intensive study of the life, the imaginative character, and the works of a single author or authors who have played major roles in the development of Western literature. Authors studied may vary from year to year.
ENGE5240 Creative Writing
The course acquaints students with the art of creative writing at an advanced level. Depending on the specialization(s) of the instructor, creative works will be explored and produced in such genres as poetry, short stories, film-scripts, and/or plays. Students will engage in intensive critique of each other’s works as well as study the generic conventions of the disciplines which focus the course each year. There will also be some emphasis on exploring local and international publishing or performance avenues.
ENGE5250 Children’s Literature
This course provides an in-depth study of developments in children’s literature through an examination of some essential, central texts as well as recent books for children. The uses of fantasy and the educational aspects of books for children will be discussed, along with notions of childhood and the nature of children. Through close reading, students will be able to engage in critical techniques applicable to most literature, for the best texts for children satisfy sensitive adult readers too.
ENGE5260 Life Writing
This course examines the genre of autobiography, one of the most popular forms of writing in the contemporary world. The course will cover such topics as the nature of memory, the reliable/unreliable narrator, public and private interpretations of life, and identification/identity in terms of such factors as race, class, gender, language, and culture. Students will become familiar with concepts such as autobiography, biography, narrative, memoirs, historiographic fiction, bildungsroman, and the blurring between truth and fiction in text.
ENGE5270 Major Contemporary Novels
This course explores, at an advanced level, the nature of twentieth-century fiction. Topics to be considered include developments in the form of narration particularly in relation to modernism and postmodernism, the changing concerns of twentieth-century writers, and the relationship of the novel to other contemporary genres. Throughout, attention will be paid to ways in which the novel remains a powerful vehicle for the communication of ideas in our time.
ENGE5280 Aspects of Contemporary Poetry
This course focuses on poetry of the twentieth century, covering such trends as modernism and postmodernism, formalist poetry, language poetry, and the long poem. Students are encouraged to read poetry against the background of specific historical and cultural developments of the twentieth century including post-colonialism and feminism. The course will also review twentieth-century innovations in poetic form as well as contemporary themes and values in poetry and the relationship of poetry to other forms of artistic expression.
ENGE5290 Modern Drama
This course explores the range of approaches to dramatic performance in the twentieth-century, including genres such as realist and naturalist drama, ‘epic’ theatre, theatre of the absurd, and postmodern multi-media performance styles. Playwrights to be studied include such writers as Shaw, Beckett, Pinter, Brecht, Shepard, and Churchill. Twentieth-century staging styles and performance theories will also be examined. Students will also have an opportunity to work on staging and performing drama in the classroom.
ENGE5300 MA Final Project
Students will have to complete a project, which may be a critical study (not less than 10,000 words) on any aspect of literary study, or a creative work in the form of a literary text such as a play or a novella. Students will work with a supervisor on the project, which must be approved by the Graduate Panel.
ENGE5310 Science Fiction and Utopia
This course examines the political and social dimension of science fiction writing. It does so by interrogating the different forms of utopia and dystopia presented in a number of science fiction films and novels. The course begins by tracing the concept of utopia back to its early literary origins in order to reveal its deeply political nature. Following this, we begin to think about the different forms of utopia and dystopia presented in science fiction writing, and begin to develop an understanding of utopia and dystopia as the product of a distinct critique of contemporary society. To this end, the course critiques three main staging grounds of utopia in science fiction – society; time and space; and, the body.
ENGE5320 American Literature
This course is an introduction to American Literature of the twentieth century. We will study a representative selection of novels, drama, film, and poetry, examining concepts such as nationalism/national identity, the frontier, the American Dream, democracy, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and immigration. Authors studied may include (but are not limited to): F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Lorraine Hansberry, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsberg, Toni Morrison, Tony Kushner, and Jhumpa Lahiri.
ENGE5330 Modernist Literature
In this course, we will examine various modernist fiction, essays and poetry in order to understand not only the formal and innovative aspects of modernism, but also some of the historical and material conditions which propelled the literary movement of modernism into being in the first place. We will consider such wide-ranging historical issues as imperialism, modernity, war, and female emancipation, and see how these helped shape both the form and content of modernist literature. The course will involve extremely close reading of the texts, with the goals to re-introduce students to terminology useful in literary analysis, and to teach methods to analyze and understand the formal and technical complexities of literary modernism.
ENGE5340 Distant Readings
In the context of a world that was beginning to understand the power of “big data,” Franco Moretti introduced the notion of “distant reading” to the field of literary studies. A method of literary scholarship that embraced the technological explosion at the end of the twentieth century, Moretti’s distant reading looked to transcend a literary studies that he thought of as dominated by the “theological exercise” of close reading – which is to say the “very solemn treatment of very few texts taken very seriously.” Distant reading attempted (attempts) to make sense of thousands of texts at the same time. It asks questions that only a survey of tens of thousands of texts can answer – how does the thematic concern of western literature change over the decades… or over the centuries? And not just the thematic concern of the canonical literature we all know, but all western literature (or as much of it as we can recover today!) Such questions cannot be answered by the individual scholar but, as Moretti understood, they can be answered with the aid of computation. This course introduces you to the debates provoked by Moretti’s ideas and then moves on to show you how distant reading is practiced today. By way of workshop and project-based learning, you will be introduced to the statistical analysis platforms that computational literary studies scholars use today. You will then learn how to use this software in order to generate your own distant readings of a corpus of texts.
ENGE5710 Critical Approaches in Literary Studies
The course aims at providing the students with an orientation of critical and interpretive approaches required of graduate studies in literature in a cross-cultural context. Various literary and critical paradigms from Western and Chinese traditions will be reviewed with a discussion of the basic issues in interpretation theory and criticism. The course will also focus on the implications of recent orientations in social sciences and philosophy for literary studies. Students will be required to identify their own research interests and pursue textbased case studies on problems or topics in criticism and interpretive theory that are involved in the interdisciplinary studies of literature.
ENGE5720 Comparative Approaches in Literary Studies
The course serves as an introduction to the advanced study of literature from comparative perspectives. With a view to enhancing their ability in identifying problems and topics for research, students will be familiarized, through team-work instruction, with the basic techniques and methods of bibliographical research and textual criticism. This will involve the use of specific primary texts. Emphasis will be put on giving the students an overview of historical as well as current research in the field. The concept of comparative literature will be investigated along with the various cultural as well as literary issues particularly involved in the studies of literature in the Chinese-Western context. Traditional areas of research, such as influence and reception, themes and motifs, genres and forms, and interrelations of literature and art, will be reviewed in the light of recent literary and cultural theories. In this course students will have to read major literary and critical texts with regard to the various perspectives on comparative literature.
ENGE5750 Special Topics in Genre Studies
Specific area(s) of investigation will be defined every year to cover one or more of the following aspects in the critical and comparative studies of literary genre: poetics, prosaics; dramatic theories; narrative theories; questions of form and structure; issues in theme and style; concepts of character and hero; problems of generic convention and institution; as well as other topics related to the study of particular genres or subgenres of poetry, drama and fiction. Emphasis will be put on the dialectic between theory and practice. Textual analysis will be treated in relation to the critical investigation of possible cultural and historical contexts. Students are allowed to take the above course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, students cannot take courses with the same course code more than once in a single term.
ENGE5850 Special Topics in Literary History
Specific area(s) of investigation will be defined every year to cover one or more of the following aspects in the critical and comparative studies of literary history: influence and reception; period and movement; literary ideas and intellectual history; historicism; neohistoricism; classicism; neo-classicism; romanticism; symbolism; realism; modernism; postmodernism; functions and theories of literary history; perspectives of historical criticism; concepts of literary tradition; concepts of literary system; literary history and literary reception; feminist perspectives; materialist perspectives; problems of textuality and intertextuality. The chosen area(s) of investigation will use texts from all three major genres of poetry, drama, and fiction. Students are allowed to take the above course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, students cannot take courses with the same course code more than once in a single term.

Subject to the approval of the Division Head, students are allowed to take the above course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, students cannot take courses with the same course code more than once in a single term.
ENGE5950 Special Topics in Critical Studies
This course is designed to investigate areas of specialisation normally not covered under generic studies or literary history. It may involve any one of the following areas in the comparative and interdisciplinary studies of literature: thematology, textual criticism and reader response, aesthetics, Western critical theories and Chinese literary studies, problems in the histories of literary criticism; twentieth-century critical theories; literature and the other arts; literature and sociology; literature and philosophy; literature and history; literature and language; literature and culture. Students are allowed to take the above course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, students cannot take courses with the same course code more than once in a single term.

*Not all courses are offered in each academic year.