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This module examines whether and how literature can be ‘engaged’ with the actualities of the world. The module will investigate how literature and the acts of reading and interpreting texts can be understood to interrupt, subvert or alter material, ideological and political orthodoxies, and how literature functions as a broadly political force for change. Via a series of case studies, and by immersing themselves in theories of literature and culture as forms of engaged thought, students will explore texts which enable a re-imagining and reconfiguration of how things are and might be. Case studies will draw on the range of expertise in the Department to examine moments and places in which literature and its readers have sought to intervene in, engage with and transform the course of history, political orthodoxies and social norms. The aims of the module include: encouraging students to think in an informed and critical way about literature as a form of liberation, resistance or conformity; to develop well-constructed and incisive research questions about the socio-historic roles of literature.