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    Books are made out of other books; well-known English literary works are placed alongside historic and contemporary works that respond to them.

    ENGL 121 presents major works of literature in English from medieval to recent times, focusing on transformations of one text by another. Other critical approaches will also be introduced. Chaucer, a variety of sonnet writers, Shakespeare and Austen form high points from the canonical tradition of English literature; Asta Nielsen creates a gender-bending Hamlet; Gurinder Chadha brings Bollywood to her recreation of Pride and Prejudice; and Kazuo Ishiguro updates the Frankenstein myth for our biotechnological age.

    About this paper

    Paper title English Literature: The Remix
    Subject English
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Teaching staff

    Convenor: Ms Nicola Cummins

    Lecturers: Ms Nicola Cummins

    Professor Jacob Edmond

    Professor Simone Celine Marshall

    Associate Professor Thomas McLean

    Associate Professor Shef Rogers

    Dr Josie Carter

    Dr Michael Cop

    Paper Structure
    The paper considers literature as a conversation between the ages. We examine canonical texts in relation to their adaptation by other authors.
    Teaching Arrangements

    Two 1-hour lectures per week.

    A 1-hour tutorial in selected weeks.


    • Chaucer assignment (10%)
    • BARDS Shakespeare assignment (5%)
    • Sonnet test (10%)
    • Essay (15%)
    • Final Examination (60%)

    Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Miller’s Tale (edition available from The Print Shop).

    Various. Sonnets of Four Centuries (edition available from The Print Shop).

    Remixes of Henare Waitoa’s “Tomo Mai” (materials supplied).

    Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library edition).

    Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice (Oxford World’s Classics).

    Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go (any edition)

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will be able to:


    • Describe origins, history and development of sonnet form to the 20th century
    • Identify sonnet form
    • Demonstrate relationship between form and thought in a sonnet
    • Identify imagery and infer relationships between imagery and sonnet form and thought
    • Define and identify basic metres of English verse in a sonnet


    • Develop the ability to read fluently and understand the language of a passage written in Middle English
    • Describe and critique the means by which character can be represented
    • Appreciate aspects of the social, religious, political, artistic and intellectual life of the medieval period


    • Practise close reading
    • Formulate tactics for dealing with earlier forms of the language
    • Assess representation of characters and themes
    • Conceptualise Early Modern theatre practice, focusing on embedded stage directions


    • Relate the history of the novel form
    • Explain the marriage plot and variations
    • Distinguish forms of irony: verbal, structural, dramatic
    • Analyse narrative method: point of view, authorial voice, dialogue, narrative voice, coloured narrative, free indirect style


    • Recall history of the Frankenstein myth
    • Evaluate author's use of expository techniques
    • Identify and critique intertextuality
    • Identify and critique aspects of monster theory


    • Critique a model essay to determine the desirable qualities of critical essay: argument, content, expression, mechanics
    • Formulate a method for writing a critical essay


    • Distinguish some of the processes by which literary works are adapted
    • Create their own adaptations of selected literary works


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-22
    Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 10-13, 15, 17, 19, 22
    A3 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 10-13, 15, 17, 19, 22
    A4 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 10-13, 15, 17, 19, 22
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