Popular Literature and Culture

Postgraduate

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Wednesday 3 February 2021, 3–6.20pm

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  • This is the first MA Popular Literature and Culture in the county to offer a period-based and interdisciplinary approach to popular literary and cultural forms from the medieval period to the present day.
  • Benefit from the highly varied research areas of the School’s teaching staff.
  • Focus on the periods/topics of popular culture that you are most interested in.
  • Teaching takes place in the evening, allowing you to study around your other commitments.

Summary

Our MA Popular Literature and Culture is the first in the country to take a period-based, interdisciplinary approach to popular literary and cultural forms. The programme spans a number of diverse disciplines such as English literature, cultural studies, film and television studies, race studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, environmental studies, and philosophy, delving into different time periods and exploring thematic topics within them.

The programme encompasses multiple periods of popular culture – from the medieval and the early modern periods, the Victorian and Edwardian ages, and 20th century and contemporary cultures. You will be taught by staff from across the disciplines, whose expertise lies not only in the form being taught but also the textual culture of that specific period. All of the staff members who will teach you are active researchers in their field and will use that research to inform their teaching, offering you innovative modules that are fresh, exciting, and contemporary.

You will also benefit from specialist masterclasses with authors of popular fiction - such as Anthony Horowitz, one of our Honorary Professors - and you will be welcomed into a thriving and social academic community at Roehampton, home to the International Journal of James Bond Studies and the Popular Literature and Culture Research Centre.

You will take the core module, "Reading Popular Culture", which will give you insight into the critical development of the concept of "the popular" as a theoretical field.

Across the programme, you will have the opportunity to examine the relationship between different forms of media, text, and popular culture from a number of periods. You will explore the role and responsibilities of popular culture within society, as well as its relationship to environmental and ecological discourses and to discourses of race, gender, and sexuality.

This MA will allow you to understand the ways in which political, economic, and cultural forces shape (and are in turn shaped by) popular culture and why particular works of popular culture become popular in any given contextual moment.

Compulsory Modules;
Archives and Research
Reading Popular Culture
Popular Identities, Gender, Sexuality, and Race
Popular Ecologies: Literature, Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics
Popular Locations: Women, Space, and Time
Popular Adaptations: Page, Stage, Screen

Dissertation
Dissertation

 

Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

The skills and knowledge gained on this degree are transferable to a wide array of professional sectors as well as any organisation requiring critical thinking, writing and copywriting skills, editing skills, and pop culture and media culture knowledge.

Students on this MA can go on to work in editing, copywriting, publishing, culture and arts management, bookselling, marketing, media, advertisement, journalism, and teaching (with the addition of a teaching qualification), to name a few.

Dr. Ian Kinane (Programme Convener)

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I'm Ian; I'm the Programme Convener of the MA and I also teach the core module, "Reading Popular Culture". What's most enjoyable about this MA, for me, is the opportunity to think and talk about real-world concerns within contemporary popular culture in a rigorous, collaborative, and enlivening way - I love the seminar discussions. My own interests in popular literature and culture are varied, but my research of late focuses on the racial politics of the James Bond franchise. If you're interested, I am the general editor of the online open-access International Journal of James Bond Studies. Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like more details about the programme: ian.kinane@roehampton.ac.uk.

Dr. Mary L. Shannon

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I'm Mary, I teach on the MA, and in particular on the module "Popular Adaptions". I really enjoy discussing the relationship between popular culture now and in the past - it's amazing how so many of our concerns and debates right now are also things that people have argued over and worried about for centuries. I work on Victorian century popular culture, but I'm interested in questions of originality and adaption more broadly. I run the GWM Reynolds Society (he's a Victorian popular author who no-one knows about now - but he's great fun!): check out https://gwmreynoldssociety.com/.

Dr. Neil Williams

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I’m Neil, and I’m a lecturer in philosophy; I co-teach the "Popular Ecologies" module, where we deal with issues to do with environmental ethics, environmental activism, and the representation of the natural world in popular books, films, and videogames. My favourite thing about this programme is the interesting and cross-disciplinary discussions we have each week – there’s nothing better than looking at your favourite writing and media and hearing others' original perspectives on them. In my research, I am interested in exploring the role that popular literature and other forms of media can play in galvanizing us to act to protect the environment.

Dr. Rachele Dini

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I'm Rachele; I teach on the "Popular Identities" and "Popular Ecologies" modules. My favourite aspect of this MA is its breadth! We look at popular culture from a range of perspectives (history, politics, philosophy, literary analysis) and we talk about lots of different media, including advertising, television sitcoms, film, social media, and activist writing. I work on waste studies, literature and advertising, and dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction and sci-fi. If you're interested, I am the founder of the International Literary Waste Studies Network and I blog about household gadgets, robots, vintage objects, and 1950's homes here: https://racheledini.com/blog.

Dr. Dustin Frazier Wood

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I'm Dustin and I convene the "Archives & Research" module and teach on the "Popular Adaptations" module. I'm an early medievalist who specialises in medievalism and fantasy, collections-based research, and digital humanities. As someone who spends most of my time immersed in the distant past, I love the opportunities the MA gives me to think about how deeply rooted in the past popular culture has always been. I also have longstanding interests in gay fiction, drag culture and avant garde performance that intersect with my research on medievalism in contemporary pop culture.

Dr. David Fallon

David Fallon

Hello, I’m David. I usually reside on the Georgium Sidus, where I work on eighteenth-century and Romantic period literature and culture, especially the fantastic words and worlds of William Blake. I am beaming down to your galaxy to teach the module “Popular Locations”, during which we will explore female-authored science and speculative fiction over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, looking at how women authors use popular genres to interrogate and assert their place in the modern world. I love the way that this MA combines variety, different media, entertainment, and critical thought. I’m looking forward to teaching you, earthlings!

Dr. Tony Paraskeva

I'm Tony, and I teach on the "Popular Adaptations" module. My research and teaching focusses on the relations between literature, cinema and other media, including adaptations from 20th-21st popular culture. I am excited about the ways in which this module allows us to think variously about word-image relations, and to place literature within a wider media ecology.

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.