2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
ENGL3999 Literature of the 1890s
20 creditsClass Size: 30
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
Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
Pre-requisite qualificationsPlease note: this module is restricted to Level 3 students on BA programmes with English and visiting students.
This module is not approved as a discovery module
ObjectivesOn completion of this module, students should be able to recognise and to comment on the major literary features of the period, including decadentism, fantasy writing, the feminist writing of the New Woman, naturalist fiction, the short story, and the New Drama. In so doing, they will also have to consider the relationship between popular and 'high' culture at this time, the importance of new printing technologies, and the new audiences thus created.
In this module, texts will be read alongside and in the light of contemporary social and political developments, both in Britain and overseas. These include colonialism, homosexuality and women's rights. Students will be encouraged to explore the broader issues of the relationship between text and context in the light of the particularities of this period. Finally, we will explore the 1890s and its literature in the light of their transitional status, and as a bridge between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.
- 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.
This module sets out to explore some of the preoccupations of the Victorian fin de siècle as they are articulated through some of its most famous and infamous literary texts. In the 1890s, literature carried much of the responsibility for popularising the ideas and practices of the European decadence which caused Britain to fear its own descent into an irretrievable degenerative state. These texts, and responses to them, demonstrate the grounds of those fears and in some cases try to answer them. Issues with which we will deal include degeneration and decadence, the New Woman, disease and the fin- de- siècle body, the detective figure, marriage, the metropolis, homosexuality and androgyny, the figure of the working woman, and the place of religion in the 1890s. We will also consider the status of popular literature and the challenge it posed to ideas of the canon, and in so doing, will identify some of the major literary features of the period, including decadentism, fantasy writing, the feminist writing of the New Woman, naturalist fiction, the short story, and the New Drama, and will consider the importance of new printing technologies, and the new audiences thus created. The module will also explore the 1890s and its literature in the light of their transitional status, and as a bridge between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||187.00|
|Total Contact hours||13.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyTeaching will be through 10 x 1 hour weekly seminars plus 3 x 1 hour lectures.
Private Study: Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.
Opportunities for Formative Feedback- Seminar contribution.
- Feedback on unassessed essay of 1700 words
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||This module will be assessed by one essay of 4000 words (including quotations and footnotes). One unassessed essay of 1700 words is also required. This does not form part of the assessment for this module, but is a requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).||100.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
One unassessed essay of 1700 words is required which will be returned individually. This does not form part of the assessment for this module, but is a requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/04/2019
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