module specification

SJ4001 - Romantics to Victorians (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Romantics to Victorians
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 300
 
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   700 word learning reflection
Coursework 30%   1500 word thematic summary of set literary text
Group Presentation 20%   15-minute group presentation
Coursework 30%   1500 word critical essay comparing literary texts in relation to historical topic
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

Romantics to Victorians is a year long level 4 module which introduces students to the transformations of English literature and culture from the mid-18th to the mid- to late 19th century. Through the study of literary, philosophical, political and popular texts the module provides an introduction and context to the study of literature in the late modern period, and situates a number of key critical debates about science and religion, political and social revolutions, industrialisation, city and citizen, Romanticism and Realism, mid-Victorian society, and Empire. The module is taught in weekly sessions, and is assessed by a series of written coursework pieces and a group presentation. The module will also provide an extended induction to academic study skills.

Module aims

Romantics to Victorians aims to:

● familiarise students with a range of literary material from the period 1750 to 1880
● introduce a number of critical and cultural debates central to the appreciation of literature written in the period
● provide a historical account of social, political and cultural developments in the period
● provide a historical framework for understanding the role of the imaginative writer in the period
● situate the English literature of the period in its national and international contexts
● develop students’ study skills and academic competences as independent learners 

Syllabus

The module will be divided into thematic sections that discuss developments in the period 1750 to 1880. The discussion of historical, literary and social topics will be led primarily through the analysis of literary texts. Historical topics will include, for example, the legacy of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment; the Industrial Revolution; the American and French Revolutions; the relationship between Britain and America; and Emancipation and Empire. Literary and cultural topics will include British and European Romanticism; the Gothic; Sensibility and Imagination; Science, Materialism and Religion; Realism, and Victorian Aesthetics. In addition, students will study topics in social and economic history such as rural and urban life; women, children and family; print, publishing and journalism, and mid-Victorian society. Authors to be studied may include Mary Wollstonecraft, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Alfred Lord Tennyson and John Ruskin.

 

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught in weekly sessions that combine lectures, seminar discussion and small group activities, plus additional scheduled online or face-to-face tutorials. Lecture summaries will be available on weblearn along with other electronic resources that support the course. Students will have weekly set reading that will include novels, literary extracts, poetry, criticism, political tracts, popular journalism, memoirs and autobiography. Reading and research tasks set over terms or over the year as a whole will also form part of the learning strategy, for example, tutor-led group curating of an online exhibition of representative texts from the period; tutor-led reading of a Victorian novel in serial form. Set topics for seminar and online discussion will be provided, along with tutorial help. The module will be enhanced by activities such as a series of visits to London locations, for example, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the V&A Museum, the Sir John Soane Museum, the Newington Green Unitarian Church, the Geffrye Museum, Leighton House and Tate Britain. Academic skills sessions will be integrated into the seminars and include, for example, visits to the library and sessions on effective note-taking.

 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. identify and criticise major themes of the literature of the period 1750 to 1880
2. demonstrate skills in the analysis of literary prose
3. evaluate major developments in the social, political and cultural history of the period
4. identify and summarise literary, intellectual and cultural debates of the period
5. present their ideas academically in both written and oral forms
6. reflect on and respond to feedback on written work in order to develop and improve learning
 

Assessment strategy

Formative assessment:

● weekly reading comprehension and summary exercises
● contribution to online activities/blogs/message boards
● tutor feedback on seminar discussions
● tutor feedback on written assignments
● peer evaluation by students

Summative assessment: three pieces of written coursework, spaced across the year, and a group presentation

Bibliography


James Eli Adams, A History of Victorian Literature (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) – e-book
Marshall Brown (ed.), The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol.5, Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
James Chandler & Maureen N. McLane (ed.s), The Cambridge Companion to Romantic Poetry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
Carol T. Christ & Catherine Robson (ed.s), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol.E, The Victorian Age (London: W.W. Norton, 2006)
Stuart Curran, The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism (Cambridge: University Press, 1993)
Deirdre David (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)
Aiden Day, Romanticism (London: Routledge, 1996) – e-book
Louis James, The Victorian Novel (Malden: Blackwell, 2006)
George Lewis Levine, How to Read the Victorian Novel (Malden: Blackwell, 2008)
Catherine Spooner and Emma McEvoy (ed.s), The Routledge Companion to Gothic (London: Routledge, 2007)
Herbert F. Tucker (ed.), A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999)
Alexandra Warwick & Martin Willis (ed.s), The Victorian Literature Handbook (London: Continuum, 2008)

Oxford Art Online
Romanticism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press) – e-journal
Studies in Romanticism (Boston: Boston University) – e-journal
Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) – e-journal
Victorian Studies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press) – e-journal