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The University of Southampton

ENGL6144 Approaches to Critical and Creative Concepts

Module Overview

This core module for the MA Global Literary Industries Management introduces the critical vocabularies for understanding the literary and cultural industries. It introduces the key conceptual and creative ideas that underpin literary arts management. It explores the changing meanings of authorship, ownership, originality and intertextuality. It evaluates why the genre and forms of writing matter and looks at how the distinctions between canonical, popular and experimental texts have been developed and maintained. It also examines questions of reading, cultural consumption and reception. It asks why, how,and where people read and what meanings they give to reading. Finally, it provides you with a vocabulary for writing, researching and talking about the institutions and markets of cultural institutions, as we look at the role that pedagogies, publishers and prizes play in the literary industry.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • key critical and creative concepts used in literary industries management;
  • key questions raised by critical concepts including: material culture and print culture across literary and historical disciplines; literary and critical studies; publishing and book history; heritage and cultural management;
  • how critical, cultural, and scholarly material contributes to the ways we think about and respond to the literary and creative industry;
  • the complex formal, stylistic, generic and aesthetic dimensions of literary texts and their relationship to debates surrounding the creative industry;
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify lines of enquiry about cultural change common to historical and literary disciplines and the creative industies;
  • describe and evaluate the state of research and scholarship on culture and literary industries in cross-disciplinary perspective;
  • identify and develop a topic for further research which might form the basis of an extended project.
  • critically evaluate both primary source materials and arguments in secondary texts;
  • synthesize and integrate the analysis of primary sources and secondary texts in a coherent written argument;
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • work effectively in groups
  • prepare and plan a project proposal


This is a core module for the MA in Global Literary Industries Management and introduces you to the critical and creative concepts pertinent to the linked fields of literary studies, literary industries, and creative writing. In Semester 1 you will consider the varied aspects of literary production, consumption and reception. You will look at questions such as what is an author? Why do genre and form matter? How does a text (or author) become canonical? What makes a bestseller? How does critical reception shape our understanding of texts, and what is its role in the literary and cultural industries? How do genre, form, format and materiality interact with markets, publics, scholarly, and critical reception? In semester 2, you will put your understanding of these critical and creative concepts into practice by undertaking a group case study of a phenomenon or problem within the literary and creative industries. Finally, you will design a brief for an in-depth research project that explores any aspect of the literary industries and which will form the basis for undertaking the Final Project module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods may include: • seminars involving both tutor and student led discussion; Learning activities include: • participation in general discussion of themes drawn from weekly reading; • oral seminar presentation; • independent reading and research; • development of archival skills; • development of techniques and conventions of visual analysis The module will use a range of primary materials e.g. literary texts, popular visual images, artefacts etc. in relation to a wide range of secondary critical and theoretical texts. The module examines how far separate disciplines have been involved in a common debate about cultural change and the creative industries, and how far they have developed specialised accounts of such change. The module will explicitly raise questions about the problems and possibilities of interdisciplinarity in the literary industries, and the conceptual and methodological issues involved in interdisciplinary study.

Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Follow-up work60
Completion of assessment task100
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Jeffrey Nealson and Susan Searls Giroux (2011). The Theory Toolbox: Critical Concepts for the Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. 

Rosamund Davies and Gauti Sigthorsson (2013). Understanding the Cultural Industries. 

Terry Flew (2011). The Creative Industries: Culture and Policy. 



Individual Presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment 15%
Written assignment 35%
Written assignment 15%
Written assignment 35%


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

Cost of books associated with essential reading for this module will not exceed £60.

Field Trips

We may visit some local institutions during this module, such as the Turner Sims and the John Hansard. This may involve some minimal costs, such as travel into the town centre from the campus.

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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