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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2345 Imagining Revolution: Literature of the English Civil Wars

20 creditsClass Size: 5


Module manager: Dr Alison Searle

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B in ‘A’ Level English Language or Literature or a mark of 50 or above in a Level One module in English Language or Literature.

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The mid-seventeenth century in England was a time of social, political and religious upheaval. The experience of revolution and civil war generated a range of intellectually and imaginatively vital writing by women and men of all classes. This module will explore the relationship between significant works of poetry and prose written between 1640-1700 and the war of ideas pursued throughout this period. At the heart of the module is a symbiosis of imagination and revolution that generated new forms of social and sexual politics and that continues to challenge us to reconceive the order of things by which we live. Teaching will be delivered through interactive workshops focusing on key topics/texts and informed by an archival session in Special Collections.Assessment will consist of a short electronic (e.g. PowerPoint) seminar presentation and a 3000 word essay.


• To introduce students to poetry and prose written by men and women from diverse social classes during and after the British Civil Wars (1640-1700) in their cultural and historical contexts.
• To grasp contesting understandings of civil war, civil society and social change as these are articulated in the prose and poetry of the period.
• To evaluate the ways in which the imagination of human nature, culture and society was revolutionised in the literature of the period.

Learning outcomes
1) Students will gain a secure knowledge of the cultural, political and religious contexts shaping the production of literature in early modern England and North America.
2) Students will extend their knowledge of mid-late seventeenth-century English poetry and prose, and will develop the capacity to present a critical understanding and analysis of this literature.
3) Students will develop their skills in verbal communication, learning to present complex ideas clearly and succinctly to their peers.
4) Students will be supported to become independent critical thinkers capable of expressing their ideas in coherent written argument.

Skills outcomes
Participation in an interactive learning environment
Verbal presentation skills
Essay writing


Teaching will be organised around five key topics that introduce students to the complex intersection of ideology, politics and literary production in a revolutionary period of British history. We shall give equal attention to writing by women and by men in this period. Topics will include the following: Regicide; Languages of Revolution; The Utopian State; Forms of Courtliness; and New Worlds. These will be explored in 5 x 2 hour and 4 x 1 hour workshops facilitated by the tutor(s). These sessions will offer a forum for up to four students each to make a four-minute PowerPoint presentation on a text chosen from a selection published the beginning of study. Each class will be introduced to cultural and historical contexts, as well as to key ideas and critical approaches. Small and whole group discussions will be initiated and co-ordinated in each workshop. A 1-hour archival session in Special Collections will familiarise students with the variety of material forms (in manuscript and print) through which texts were disseminated in this period.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Primary and secondary reading, seminar preparation, oral and PowerPoint preparation, and essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1 x PowerPoint Presentation (up to 8 slides and 400 words of notes, maximum 4 minutes in length)
1 x 3000 word essay

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words75.00
PresentationOn PowerPoint25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students will be required to give a PowerPoint presentation designed to be informative but short. The PowerPoints may include no more than 8 slides plus 400 words of accompanying notes. Each student’s presentation will be no longer than 4 minutes – i.e. 30 seconds per slide. Assessment will be on the basis of the PowerPoints and accompanying notes, not on the in-class oral delivery.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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