This subject introduces students to some of the key texts of modern and contemporary literature, across several genres: poetry, drama, the short story, the novel, and the filmscript. Modern and contemporary writers struggle with issues of representation, aesthetics and politics in an era of dramatic social change, and offer some intriguing reflections and meditations on the role of literature and the formation of literary tradition. This subject will explore the thematic and formal innovations of 20th century writing and some of the controversies and contexts of 20th century literature. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical framework for interpreting these texts in the light of current trends in literary criticism and critical theory. Students who successfully complete this subject will have a background of relevant knowledge and critical and interpretative skills on which to base further work in English Literary Studies.