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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2027 Eighteenth Century Literature

20 creditsClass Size: 187

For full module descriptions of our level 2 and 3 undergraduate modules (including details of preparatory reading, texts for purchase and required unassessed work) please see the Undergraduate Module Handbook in the English Organisation on the VLE.

Visiting and Exchange Students must read this information before selecting modules.

Module manager: Dr Robert Jones
Email: r.w.jones@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Language or Literature or equivalent or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English.

This module is mutually exclusive with

ENGL2014Eighteenth Century Literature

Module replaces

ENGL2014

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module examines one of the most exciting periods of British literary history. The eighteenth century saw the emergence of the novel, while its poetry combined rhetorical sophistication and imaginative exploration. This module investigates the significance of these literary developments, while exploring the ways in which the writing of this period engaged with wider cultural debates. We will trace the evolution of the novel, from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe to Samuel Richardson's Pamela: works that combine social critique with an intense interest in the formation of cultural, national, and gendered identities. We will also read a selection of poetry, from the satirical to the passionate, as well as exploring theatrical work from the beginning and the end of the century, by William Congreve and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. As a period of relative domestic peace and prosperity, the eighteenth century witnessed the expansion of international commerce and the construction of a proud British identity. While this increasing national confidence was frequently celebrated in the literature of the period, many writers cast a critical eye on the price of progress. This conjunction of optimism and anxiety is reflected in the period’s literature, in which the polite and beautiful jostles with the vulgar and the shocking; sentimental love confronts satiric comedy; and the sublime powers of nature compete with the life of the London street, where dirt and disease thrive.

Objectives

On completing this module, students will have had the opportunity to develop their knowledge of and, it is hoped, their critical enthusiasm for, literature 1700-1790, by reading a wide range of texts from the period. During the eighteenth century, the 'literary' was a less restricted category than it later became, and students will be encouraged to reflect on the implications of this by reading fiction, poetry and drama alongside examples from a variety of other genres. Through this reading, through engagement with some of the major debates of the period (such as the relationships between the individual and society/nation, subjective experience and objective value, aesthetics and morality, sentiment and satire), and through written assignments, they will be encouraged to develop their critical vocabulary and analytical skills.

Learning outcomes
Skills outcomes and Graduate Attributes

In terms of Academic Excellence this module develops critical thinking, flexibility of thought and analytical skills. It supports and develops the ability to work autonomously, initiative, planning and organisational skills. Students will learn to analyse information, synthesise views and make connections; students will be critically aware of, and be informed by, current knowledge; and will develop research skills. In short:

- Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
- Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
- Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
- Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
- Critical reasoning.
- Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
- IT skills.
- Time management and organisational skills.
- Independent learning.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


Syllabus

This module examines one of the most exciting periods of British literary history. The eighteenth century saw the emergence of the novel, while its poetry combined rhetorical sophistication and imaginative exploration. This module investigates the significance of these literary developments, while exploring the ways in which the writing of this period engaged with wider cultural debates. We will trace the evolution of the novel, from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe to Samuel Richardson's Pamela: works that combine social critique with an intense interest in the formation of cultural, national, and gendered identities. We will also read a selection of poetry, from the satirical to the passionate, as well as exploring theatrical work from the beginning and the end of the century, by William Congreve and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. As a period of relative domestic peace and prosperity, the eighteenth century witnessed the expansion of international commerce and the construction of a proud British identity. While this increasing national confidence was frequently celebrated in the literature of the period, many writers cast a critical eye on the price of progress. This conjunction of optimism and anxiety is reflected in the period’s literature, in which the polite and beautiful jostles with the vulgar and the shocking; sentimental love confronts satiric comedy; and the sublime powers of nature compete with the life of the London street, where dirt and disease thrive.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture221.0022.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars.

Submission of assessed essay.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,700 word essay including quotations and footnotes. Students must submit/sit and pass both elements. Students who fail either element (essay or examination (even as a result of penalties)) will have to resit the failed element in order to pass the module.33.30
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)33.30

Students must submit/sit and pass both elements. Students who fail either element (essay or examination (even as a result of penalties)) will have to resit the failed element in order to pass the module.


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 00 mins66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)66.70

Students must submit/sit and pass both elements. Students who fail either element (essay or examination (even as a result of penalties)) will have to resit the failed element in order to pass the module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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