Academic benefits of studying at King’s- Baudouin Chaar

The benefits of studying at King’s for me where countless. To start off, the courses I took could be found nowhere else. Prior to applying for King’s, as I was looking at the courses for Masters in Literature in other universities, I couldn’t find anything as interesting as the ones I found at King’s. As I am also a musician – guitarist – I took the module 7AAEM707: African American Literature and the problem of music: criticism, aesthetics and culture. As the title suggests this module dealt with the idea of music as a symbol of identity and cultural significance for the African-American community in 20th century America and how it was reflected in literature. Elements studied where philosophical ideas about music and its role in history. I benefited a lot from this class as I used a lot of its ideas in my music. The module was taught by Dr. Paul Gilroy and I was so honored and pleased to have been able to take a class with a world known scholar! Thanks to this class and the King’s Library I was able to borrow and read books that I would have never heard of before. Thanks to this class I was able to use also a lot of its ideas in my thesis back home.

Other than that, I took an eighteen century class with Dr. Clare Brant and I have to say it was very challenging as we approached classic English literary texts with a contemporary gender issues lenses. I was very much pleased with how these issues where treated in a very intellectual and mature perspective as opposed to back home where these issues in literary classes where taken very divisively with an antagonistic approach towards men. I learned a lot about what gender studies deal with and what their approach to literature is.

Also, I took a modernist class with Dr. Jonathan Day where we explored consciousness and how it was portrayed with a psychological viewpoint in the modernist literary movement of the early 20th century. We approached this literature from a pseudo-medical perspective where we analyzed each text and how consciousness was portrayed and how each author approached it. It was a very challenging module but I liked it very much as we read my favorite authors of this period and I was able to get deeper in this literary movement which I needed also for my thesis.

One of the ways my studying at King’s differed from my home university was that it was much more challenging as the students are much more intellectually curious and desiring to know more about the subjects. I had to challenge myself to be able to keep up with all these interesting students, and in the end, the results payed off as I learned so much and more than any other place I would have been in.

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