England and Englishness

This course examines the ways in which England and Englishness have been presented and constructed in poetry and fiction in the modern period with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will consider the ways in which belonging, inclusion, character, landscape and nationhood are produced in imagery, narrative, performativity and aesthetics. Englishness is often invoked explicitly in fictional works but it also works through more subtle forms of gesture, landscape and aesthetics. Students will be introduced to extracts of criticism on national identity and theories of Englishness but the primary focus of the course will be on fictions of England and Englishness and how texts interpolate English subjects and English places.