BEAT WRITING - 2017/8

Module code: ELIM031

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

MOONEY S Dr (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits

15

ECT Credits

7.5

Framework

FHEQ Level 7

JACs code

T720

Module cap (Maximum number of students)

N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CREATIVE PIECE (3000 WORDS) PLUS CRITICAL ESSAY & COMMENTARY (1500 WORDS) OR CRITICAL ESSAY (4500 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None.

Module overview

The Beat Generation writers scandalised and shocked mid-20th Century American culture, challenging societal norms of gender, politics, religion and spirituality, race, sexuality, sex, drugs and music alongside proposing radical literary practices that struck at the heart of polite literary society. They, and their writings, were seen as wild, unpredictable, dangerous and transgressive. This was the birth of youth culture.

 

In this course, students will be introduced to key aspects of and movements in Beat writing, through the techniques employed by the writers themselves, from the spontaneous writing of Jack Kerouac, the paranoia cut-up methods of William Burroughs, the visionary ‘madness’ of Allen Ginsberg to the writings on gender and race of Anne Waldman, John Wieners and Leroi Jones. Alongside this we will look at the writing practices of the Beat writers of the San Francisco Renaissance, for example the beast language of Michael McClure and the Zen poetics of Gary Snyder.

 

In each workshop we will first spend some time discussing the set texts and the techniques employed by those writers concerned, before moving on to the workshop part of the class where students will produce work in accordance with the task set for that week. We will read and discuss a selection of pieces at the end of each class.

 

At the end of the semester students will produce a creative portfolio of Beat or Beat-inspired writing, alongside a critical essay and commentary reflecting on the creative work produced and using theories, concepts and practices studied on the module, OR an academic critical essay examining some aspect of the Beat Writing phenomenon.

Module aims

Develop in students a thorough critical understanding of Beat Generation writing in the context of mid-20th Century culture through a range of prose, poetic and dramatic texts

develop the ability in students to analyse and appraise compositional styles and techniques in the Beat writing mode, and apply critical insights to their own writing practices OR published works

Facilitate the acquiring of the detailed knowledge and skills necessary for producing Beat writing

Help students attain the ability to apply critical awareness to one's own creative writing OR published works

Encourage students to work as a group in the production of collaborative work in the workshop context

Facilitate the examination of the theory and conceptualisation of Beat writing critically alongside the practices and published texts produced in relation to it

Encourage students to critically develop their thinking about their own practice as writers, OR that of other writers, and to present this in cogent terms

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Gained significant confidence and ability in critically analysis and thinking
Gained an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers
More fully developed their sense of their own practice as writers and/or that of other writers in relation to mid 20th century practices that have had, and continue to have, a significant formative effects on contemporary writing
Developed a stronger sense of the materials and techniques available to them as writers, and to other writers, and begun to locate this work within the context of contemporary writing
Established a knowledge of the context of radical and experimental writing practices that were instrumental in the formulation of the wider development of youth culture
Produced work individually and in groups, as well as have been introduced to intermedial collaborative ideas

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The following areas are indicative of topics to be covered:

 


Beat and its Interpretations
Spontaneous Writing
Visionary Beat
The Paranoia Cut-Up
Bop Prosody
Meat Writing
Zen Writing
Fast Speaking Women
Beat Memoir
Gender and Transgression in the Beats
Violence, Transgression, Anger in the Social Beat 

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

 


Hone and develop students’ writing skills in academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) by more fully developing their sense of their own practice as writers in relation to mid 20th century practices that have had, and continue to have, a significant formative effects on contemporary writing
Assist students in locating literary texts and their critical writing, and/or their creative work in historical and cultural contexts by developing understanding of the context of radical and experimental writing practices that were instrumental in the formulation of the wider development of youth culture
Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) and creative criticism by developing a stronger sense of the materials and techniques available to them as writers, and begun to locate their work within the context of contemporary writing



Facilitate in students productive reflection on both the creative process itself and the finished work by helping them gain significant confidence and ability in critically analysis and thinking, and an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers


 

The learning and teaching methods include:

 

2 hour seminar x 11 weeks.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:


the development in their knowledge and understanding of literary and creative texts and textual practices
their understanding of the social, cultural, historical and geographical contexts for the production of literary and creative texts and of the way those texts intervene in related discourses
their understanding of verbal creativity and the formal and aesthetic dimensions of literary and creative texts
a range of subject specific and transferable skills gained in critical and creative thinking, in the production of critical and creative texts, and of practical support in the development of employability and/or creative practice skills


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

 

Creative Piece (3000 words) plus critical essay and commentary (1500 words) (100%) OR Critical Essay (4500 words) (100%)

 

Formative assessment and feedback

 

Verbal feedback in class, written and/or oral feedback on one piece of creative writing (maximum of 2000 words or equivalent for poetry).

 

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, and a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.

Reading list

Reading list for BEAT WRITING : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/elim031

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Writing MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Creative Writing MFA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.