The Introduction to Literature module serves as a foundation for degree programmes in Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at Essex, as well as an option with many of its own unique and vital qualities.

The module consists of six units, each based on a common genre or theme (i.e. Tragedy, Comedy, Epic & Narrative, the Underworld, Metamorphosis and The Other). There are two or three lectures in each unit, and each lecture looks at a key text or texts (see the list of Primary Texts).

An understanding of these key genres and themes will provide students with sound foundations upon which they can build throughout their degree. The module honours the comparative emphasis that defines our Department, and the Faculty of Humanities and Comparative Study generally, by drawing links between texts from different centuries, cultures and continents. Notably, the module examines the ways that key literary texts, for example Homer's Odyssey or Dante's Inferno, and key literary genres, for example tragedy or comedy, are borrowed from, rewritten, retranslated or reworked by successive generations of writers, up to the present day. In this way, the module seeks to understand long cultural traditions. Lectures and seminars will assist students in tracing literary origins, and the ways in which they develop, whether through continuity, or else via transformation, transition or rupture. Therefore, links are frequently made between the different texts and units on the module. The constant shifting forward from a classical text to a modern example, and then back to a further classical text in another unit, draws students' attention to the complex links and fissures across our cultural traditions.

Lecturers' Research into Subject Area
LT111 is an introductory survey module. The twenty lectures cover a wide range of world literature, and each lecturer speaks on an area related to his or her particular field of expertise: from award-winning playwright Liz Kuti on Oedipus to Shakespeare scholar John Gillies on a Midsummer Night's Deam, from Americanist Owen Robinson on Faulkner to medievalist Patricia Gillies on Dante, the module is a showcase of the Department's research specialities, which we introduce to our students at the very outset of their studies with us.