A special author

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Centre for English Studies

Module overview

This research-led advanced interactive seminar is for undergraduates in Years 3 or 4, and warmly welcomes any SOAS, intercollegiate and exchange students who have an interdisciplinary interest in the South African-Australian Nobel prize-winner’s work.

The focus draws on very recent research: the exhibition, Scenes from the South , curated by Kai Easton and David Attwell in collaboration with Amazwi South African Museum of Literature and the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin (2020) to mark Coetzee’s 80th birthday, and the collection, J. M. Coetzee & the Archive: Fiction, Theory and Autobiography , edited by Marc Farrant, Kai Easton and Hermann Wittenberg (Bloomsbury, 2021).

A Special Author is designed as a companion to our Term 1 module, Southern Spaces . It is a co-curated syllabus with creative-critical assessment.


  • This module is capped at 12 places.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • In-depth critical knowledge of the author selected, and of the history of the reception of their work
  • Reading of most of their work across genres;
  • challenge one’s own preconceptions about their work and its historical and conceptual contexts;
  • the ability to devise, structure, pursue and realise an independent research project, following detailed advice from your module tutor


This course will be taught over 10 weeks with a 2 hour seminar/tutorial classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

  • One notebook (worth 30%)
  • One essay of 4,000 words (worth 50%)
  • Regular attendance and seminar participation (worth 20%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules