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Literature 1A: Introduction to Literary Studies in English


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


During this course students (of English) will learn the basic skills necessary for the study of (English-language) literature. The student will learn how to analyse poetry, prose and drama by studying works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. The focus will lie on the structural and stylitic elements of works of literature as well as their cultural and historical contexts. By doing several writing assignments students will take the first steps towards writing literary-critical essays.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will

  • have knowledge of key structural and stylistic aspects of poetry, drama and prose fiction.

  • be able to apply key literary terms in their critical reading of literary texts.

  • be able to express their critical judgement in clear and well-structured academic prose.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Seminars

  • Self-motivated study of assigned reading

Assessment method


  • One online written exam

  • Several writing assignments over the course of the semester


  • The exam counts for 50% of the final grade; the minimum grade is 5.

  • The writing assignments count for the other 50% of the grade; the minimum grade for the final essay assignment is a 6.

The final course grade is the average grade for the above-mentioned exam and assignments, and will be rounded up or down to the nearest whole or half a point. A final grade below 5,5 (also 5,49) is insufficient and will be rounded down to 5.

Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


Only when the final grade is insufficient can students resit an insufficient exam and/or assignments . The resit grade will replace the original grade.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • Greenblatt, Stephen, et al (eds.). The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 10th edition, Volume F (Norton) [NOTE: do NOT buy the abridged “Major Authors” edition of the Norton Anthology].

  • Klarer, Mario. An Introduction to Literary Studies, 3rd edition (Routledge 2013).

  • Hitchcock (dir), Shadow of a Doubt (Dvd, or legal download)

  • Yamashita, Karen Tei. Through the Arc of the Rain Forest (Coffee House Press)


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies. All other students need to contact the coordinator of studies to be enrolled for this course.

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.



Not applicable.