MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture


– The MA in Modern and Contemporary
Literature and Culture can be though of as asking two major things
What is it to be modern? and what does it mean to be contemporary? And those two questions are
embodied in the core course which takes us from the reconstruction of Paris in the late 19th Century
to the reconstruction of New Orleans in the early 21st Century From the work of Baudelaire
and Flaubert in France to the work of Dave Eggers and Mary Robinson in the United States
after Hurricane Katrina And along the way from the late 19th
to the early 21st Century we get taken through
James Joyce, T S Eliot, Samuel Beckett, W B Yeats
and as far as David Foster Wallace The main strengths of the MA
have to do on the one hand with the staff many of whom are experts
in their field, internationally recognised a lot of whom are on their way
to that kind of status We the staff have a sense of our students as people who are passionate, critically active
intellectually rigourous and warm and friendly at the same time Students from this MA go on to careers in a number of sectors
Luke Martin, who took the MA in Contemporary Literature and Culture
in 2008/9 went into a job at the BBC
has become a researcher and was recently working on the show
Who Do You Think You Are? The other example I’d give would be me
I took this very MA in 2003-2004 and ten years later I’m now convening the
MA The applicants that we get to this MA
come from all kinds of fields Most of them, obviously,
will have done degrees in English but not solely
We have for example in the coming year we have a student coming from
a career in law We have another student coming from
a career in theatre performance What we really want is students who are
passionate, open to new challenges rigourous, able to think critically
and those who love literature and love the kinds of questions
that we want them to ask about modernity and being contemporary
The most enjoyable thing about teaching on the MA at York
is the students We have students from all over the world
For many of them this is a year where they make an intellectual step up
You can see the excitement they have in taking on the challenges
and learning and reading And working with those students
is just a privilege.

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