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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3011 Victorian Literature

20 creditsClass Size: 185

English

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

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

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.

PLEASE NOTE:- This module is restricted to Level 3 students.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces students to a broad range of Victorian literature, encompassing a variety of literary genres and spanning the full historical length of the period (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 the dominant ideologies of 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 module booklet containing a range of contemporary material on key Victorian debates will be provided at cost price. 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 the discourse 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 material in the module reader, material 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 sihcle.

Learning outcomes
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 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

The aim of this module is to introduce students to a broad range of Victorian writings and seminal Victorian interests and preoccupations. In their set texts, students will encounter 'realist' and sensational fiction, a variety of poetic writings, a bildungsroman, late-Victorian drama, and the short story. We will both pay attention to the generic characteristics of the texts and authors to be studied, and will set them firmly within Victorian social, economic and political contexts. Set reading will be supplemented by essays, scientific writing, and journalism in the module booklet, which will contain contemporary material on the major contextual issues to be dealt with. These issues will include the woman question, evolution and burgeoning scientific practices, the changing 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.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

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.

Unassessed assignment.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

One unassessed essay of approximately 1700 words (including quotations and footnotes) is required, for which the deadline is given in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. This does not form part of the examination for this module, but is a module 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 list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/08/2008

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