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2016/17 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL5837M Victorian New Media

30 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Dr James Mussell

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is not approved as an Elective


To consider the way Victorian literary texts were informed by and responded to changing media and media technologies;
To explore the different forms of Victorian new media and media technologies;
To apply media theory to the study of Victorian literature and culture.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- describe a range of different Victorian media / media technologies, including telegraphy, postal services, print, paper, and the railways.
- examine the way different media / media technologies structured social relationships in the period.
- compare the way different literary texts represented and discussed media / media technologies.
- consider how different media forms affect the production, distribution and understanding of literary texts.


The Victorian period witnessed a media revolution. From the industrialization of print to the invention of recorded sound, the Victorians created new ways in which they could relate to one another. This module explores the impact of different kinds of Victorian new media, considering how they were understood and the effect they had on more established forms and genres. Each week we will read material (literary and non-literary) that responds to a particular form of media or media technology. We will discover how these new media affected the way the Victorians communicated, whether across space and time or between the living and the dead.

The module will begin with a class on inscription, ‘Writing Things Down’, which will consider the purpose of writing and how this was shaped by industrial print culture. We will then to move on to look at different types of Victorian new media, with classes on the telegraph (both wired and wireless), post, paper, the cinematograph, and the phonograph. We will also discuss the place of technology in the period and its connection with a particularly Victorian kind of modernity. New media were often described as collapsing time and space, bringing people closer together. On this course we will explore the technologies, systems, texts, and objects that shrank the world and consider the new kinds of presence that were subsequently produced

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Weekly reading and research assignments in preparation for seminars and essay writing

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

One unassessed essay of approximately 2000 words

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/04/2016


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