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The University of Southampton

ENGL6142 Literary Industries and New Media

Module Overview

The global industries shaping contemporary literary cultures are diverse, dynamic and rapidly changing. They incorporate children’s literature, graphic novels, plays and poetry, site-specific and experimental writing, popular genre fiction, as well as the canonical works of the heritage industry. This module will give you a critical understanding of these innovative industries and the skills needed to engage and develop them. It particularly focuses on literature’s digital revolution and the ways in which new media has radically transformed the meaning and processes of writing, publishing, editing, adapting, reading and reviewing. Issues to be examined on the module include the use of interactive writing platforms, the role of literary narrative in gaming, the adaptations of fiction into film, television, hypertexts and immersive experiences, the use of locative technologies in writing and reading. The module concludes with in-depth case studies that allow students to read literary texts through their complex cultural and economic contexts. These case-studies allow you to look at specific examples of the issues involved in the marketing, selling, copyrighting, adapting, translating, reading and interpreting of influential, often ground-breaking, cultural practices.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Specific theoretical and cultural issues involved in understanding the literary and cultural industries
  • historical and practical knowledge of how these industries have been changed through the emergence of new technologies, including the role of literary narrative in gaming and locative technologies
  • The economic contexts that give meaning to literary texts, such as heritage, marketing, prize-giving, book-selling, genre, publishing houses
  • cultures of reading and writing, such as fan fiction and interactive writing platforms
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify of the contemporary challenges in the literary industries, including understanding of copyright and authorship
  • research specific case studies, to follow critical debates and apply them to own readings
  • evaluate the varied complex stages of the literary industries, from production, to consumption to marketing
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Carry out your own research on a topic
  • Demonstrate intellectual independence in your writing.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Research and present material drawn from individual and archival research in an engaging way
  • Distill and rework primary and secondary materials in a way that is accessible to a wide range of audiences
  • Display, promote and disseminate your research in a variety of forms


The module provides a critical introduction to the various stages of the literary industry, paying particular attention to their changing meanings in a digital age. These include the role of new media in writing, publishing and reading literature, the meaning of authorship, the re-mediation of literary texts into screenplays, television series, computer games, immersive and leisure experiences, the cultural formations of genre, and of high and low culture, new and changing cultures of responsive reading. It guides students through the demands of arts management and innovation. Specific topics to be studied include: • publishing and editing in a digital culture • global literature and the roles of adaptations and translations • the economics of the global literary industry, including marketing, prize-giving, book-selling • new cultures of reading and writing, including fan fiction and interactive writing platforms • the role of literary narrative in gaming and locative technology

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Seminars • Individual guidance sessions in advance of the final assessment Learning activities include • Preparatory reading and research prior to contact hours • Individual study and research

Completion of assessment task100
External visits10
Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Follow-up work66
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

David Hesmondhalgh (2012). The Cultural Industries. 

John Hartley (2005).  Creative Industries. 

Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker (2017). Digital Humanities. 

Adam Hammond (2014). Literature in the Digital Age. 



Individual Oral Presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment 20%
Written assignment 60%
Written assignment 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Costs for this module will not exceed £40

Field Trips

We will visit a number of local institutions on this module, these may include the John Hansard, the Tudor House, the Turner Sims. There may be some costs involved in purchasing tickets for some of these events, but these will be limited and optional.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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