Big Books

Niveau BA3

EC 6 (te reduceren tot 5 EC)

Frederike Westera (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

April – July 2023


You acquire knowledge of a variety of novels written in the English language.

You are able to analyse and compare these works using the terms for literary analysis as studied from Stephen’s English Literature: a student guide.

You are able to place these novels within their historical and literary contexts.

Course Objectives
The goal of this course is to provide students with elementary knowledge of formal linguistics and of language use and to improve their knowledge about language (language awareness). At the end of this course, students will be able to correctly use general linguistic terminology and they will be familiar with the basics of the following linguistic domains: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, language acquisition and language disorders. They will also be aware of the role that linguistics plays in society, such as in speech/ language therapy and in educational environments. Students will be able to perform basic linguistic analyses on small datasets from English, but also from languages they most probably do not speak.

Korte beschrijving inhoud
Have you ever read or heard the opening line of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair… “? In this course you select a variety of canonical and more recent novels to read, analyse, reflect on, and enjoy. You will study and learn to work with tools that can be used to analyse these works. The focus is on materials and terminology that can be used in secondary education.

Werkvormen (blended opzet)

Dag waarop de face-to-face bijeenkomsten plaatsvinden
Two sessions; at the start and halfway through the course.

60-minute oral exam.


– Stephen, M. English Literature: a student guide. Routledge 2013.

– 20 novels in total, to be self-selected based on the following criteria:

  • Your selection should be diverse; choose novels written by authors from different cultural backgrounds, countries of origin, gender, and works that deal with different themes and were written in various literary periods
  • A maximum of one novel per author