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LN250 English Literature and Society


These literature courses available for LSE undergraduates as outside options focus on twentieth and twenty first century literature in the context of social and political change in the period. They will give you the opportunity to consider texts (prose fiction, poetry and drama) often in the light of your major subject at LSE. We look at literature as an index of social change. In addition to study of texts in class we also arrange frequent trips to related plays and exhibitions over the course of the year, while also using video and other media in teaching. Assessment for all courses LN250, LN251, LN252, LN253 and LN254 is by examination (75%) and extended coursework essay (25%).

If you have a keen interest in English Literature and wish to study how it fits into the framework of Society and Politics, you should consider this undergraduate degree option taught by Dr Angus Wrenn.


The course concentrates on 20th century literature in Britain and its links to the major political and social trends in the period. Major focuses include Modernism (Joyce, Eliot), feminism (Woolf), theatre of the absurd and postmodernism (Beckett and Pinter) and politically engaged writing (Auden, Orwell, Heaney). The course covers prose, poetry and drama. Book early via LSE for You to avoid disappointment!

Indicative Content

  • Available on most Undergraduate degree programmes
  • Offered at Advanced level, although students (especially those taking the General course) should not be deterred iff they do not have A-level English literature or equivalent
  • Fully assessed and will form part of your undergraduate degree
  • Study of 20th Century British Literature in its Social and Political context
  • Critical appreciation of British Literature and the elements of style in prose, poetry and drama
  • Study of major cultural themes e.g. Literature of War; Imperialism; Feminism
  • Study of individual authors (see reading list)
  • Modernism; Political Engagement; Social Realism; Theatre of the Absurd; Post-Colonial Literature; Celtic Literature; Post-Modernism
  • Several trips to theatre productions arranged during the year
  • Extensive use of archive recordings of authors, and video
  • Students encouraged to take an active part in class discussion, to draw upon knowledge of the principal degree discipline, and to read widely
  • Revision tutorials
  • Please see your tutor to register for this course
  • LN250 English Literature and Society (Official Course Guide)
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