English - Elective Subject, topic 3: Intertextuality – Putting Meaning on the move

Course content

This elective builds on Lichs 1, 2 and 3 and brings out new and more complex connections between texts (and contexts). In the course we will reflect on textual dialogue, affiliation and filiation, signifying practices, meaning making and canonisation, (textual) solidarity, etc. by reading canonical texts in conjunction with new, sometimes counter-canonical works. This approach will allow for a number of interesting conversations about literary representations and experimentations across time and genre.



Preliminary Theoretical and Literary Texts:

John McLeod, Beginning Postcolonialism (2010) Ch. 5, Leela Gandhi, Postcolonial Theory (2019) Ch. 8, John Thieme, Postcolonial Con-Texts (extracts), Graham Allen, Intertextuality (selected chapters) and a selection of essays by Edward Said, Julia Kristeva, Ferdinand Saussure, etc.

  • Conversations with Chaucer: Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (Prologue and ‘Wife of Bath Tale’), Refugee Tales 1, 2, 3 (Herd and Pincus, eds, extracts), Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, ‘The Wife of Bath Speaks in Brixton Market’ (2011) and Zadie Smith The Wife of Willesden (2021)
  • Shindigs with Shakespeare: Shakespeare, Othello, Arnold Wesker, Lady Othello (1987) and Caryl Phillips, The Nature of Blood (1997)
  • Dialogues with Defoe: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719) and John Coetzee, Foe (1986)
  • Attention Austen: Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814), Edw. Said, Culture and Imperialism (1993, extracts), John Agard, ‘Mansfield Park Revisited’ (2006)
  • Words with Wordsworth: William Wordsworth, ‘To Toussaint L’Ouverture’ (1802) and John Agard, ‘Toussaint L’Ouverture Acknowledges Wordsworth’s Sonnet “To Toussaint L’Ouverture”’ (2009)
  • Beef with Brontë: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847) and Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
  • Considering Conrad: Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902) and Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)
  • (Re)Visiting Virgil: Extracts from Virgil’s Aeneid and Simon Armitage’s ‘On the Existing State of Things’ (2016)
  • Ted Talk: Ted Hughes, ‘Deaf School’ (1988) and Raymond Antrobus’ response from The Perseverance (2018)


Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 325,5
  • English
  • 409,5