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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL32111 Gender, Culture and Politics: Readings of Jane Austen

20 creditsClass Size: 40


Module manager: Dr Bonnie Latimer

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should have an understanding of the cultural contexts of Jane Austen's fiction.

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.


Though Jane Austen is no longer thought of as a writer who is indifferent to the political concerns of her time, it can be easy for modern readers to miss the ways in which her novels engage very particularly with urgent contemporary debates. This module will give students the opportunity to study a selection of Jane Austen's works in terms of those debates. The first drafts of Austen's early fiction were written during the revolutionary decade of the 1790s; they were revised and completed, and her later novels written, during the Regency period and the Napoleonic Wars, when issues to class, gender, and national identity were fiercely contested, and the relationship between the private sphere of the family and the public sphere of politics and nation underwent significant redefinition. In order to explore the cultural and political meanings of her fiction, we shall read Austen's novels and juvenilia alongside key texts from these turbulent decades. In the final weeks of the module, we shall look at a rather different version of Austen, that produced by her own culture through the medium of film.

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
Private study hours185.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Teaching will be through weekly seminars (10 x 1 hour) plus up to 5 additional hours (content to be determined by the module tutor). The 5 additional hours may include lectures, plenary sessions, film showings, or the return of unassessed/assessed essays.

Private Study: Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars.

1 x 1700 word unassessed essay (Week 7)

Methods of assessment

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

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

One unassessed essay of 1700 words is 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).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 14/04/2010


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