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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3289 Victorian Literature

20 creditsClass Size: 180

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 Julia Reid
Email: j.h.m.reid@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 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

ENGL3011Victorian Literature

Module replaces

ENGL3011

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to a broad range of literature from the Victorian period, encompassing a variety of literary genres and spanning the full historical length of the age (c.1837-1900). The selection of texts combines some of the most familiar works of Victorian literature with less familiar, or recently neglected, writings. Students will encounter differing modes of fiction (realism, the 'sensation' novel, and the gothic), a wide range of poetic forms (including sonnets, ballads, and the dramatic monologue) as well as late-Victorian drama. The module will emphasise the specific historical contexts within which Victorian literature was written, and examine some of the ways in which Victorian writers negotiated important ideas and events in the period. It will also encourage students to question current preconceptions about the nature of 'Victorianism' and what it represents. To support the aim of contextual reading, a range of contemporary material on key Victorian debates will be provided on the module's VLE pages. The issues to be explored on the module include the effects of industrial society, ideas of gender difference, Empire and 'race', criminality, evolutionary science and psychological theory, childhood and representations of the self, and discourses of sexuality.

Objectives

By the end of this module students will have been introduced to a broad range of Victorian writers, genres, discourses and preoccupations. They will have gained a sense of the major social, political and literary developments of the period, and crucially will be able to assess the ways in which literature variously responds to, and itself participates in, social and political events.

By reading the literary texts alongside contextual documents on the VLE, documents which will include scientific, political, and religious writings, journalism and satire, students will be enabled to evaluate the place and function of the specifically literary discourses during this period; and to learn something of the Victorians' own sense of their literary status.

More specifically, students will also have learnt more about the significance during this period of the woman question, evolution and burgeoning scientific practices, the challenging nature of religious beliefs and expressions, industrialisation and its impact on social systems, the experience of Empire, the rise of a commodity culture, the place of the writer, and the fin de siecle.

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 introduces students to a broad range of literature from the Victorian period, encompassing a variety of literary genres and spanning the full historical length of the age (c.1837-1900). The selection of texts combines some of the most familiar works of Victorian literature with less familiar, or recently neglected, writings. Students will encounter differing modes of fiction (realism, the 'sensation' novel, and the gothic), a wide range of poetic forms (including sonnets, ballads, and the dramatic monologue) as well as late-Victorian drama.

The module will emphasise the specific historical contexts within which Victorian literature was written, and examine some of the ways in which Victorian writers negotiated important ideas and events in the period. It will also encourage students to question current preconceptions about the nature of 'Victorianism' and what it represents. To support the aim of contextual reading, a range of contemporary material on key Victorian debates will be provided on the module's VLE pages.

The issues to be explored on the module include the effects of industrial society, ideas of gender difference, Empire and 'race', criminality, evolutionary science and psychological theory, childhood and representations of the self, and discourses of sexuality.

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.
- Feedback on assessed work.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,700 word essay including quotations and footnotes. Students must submit/sit and pass all elements of assessment. Students who fail any element (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 all elements of assessment. Students who fail any element (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 66.70
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)66.70

Students must submit/sit and pass all elements of assessment. Students who fail any element (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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