Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: The Condition of England
Week 3: Religion and Science
Week 4: Gender, Women and Sexuality
Week 5: Love and Romance
Week 6: Social Reform and Technological Innovation
Week 7: Cityscapes and Countrysides
Week 8: Education and the Classes
Week 9: Empire
Week 10: Popular Entertainment
Week 11: Conclusion




This course moves at a fast pace and introduces a wealth of facts and kinds of writing students might yet be unfamiliar with. We will, however, always find time in our lectures to stop and focus in more depth on writers, events, topics and texts that resonate particularly strongly with us. A mid-term writing exercise and an independently researched essay will help students remember, digest and, in another form, reproduce information received and interpretative strategies learned. In addition, fortnightly tutorial meetings will help students zoom in and bring their newly acquired knowledge about ‘the larger picture’ into the microcosm of a particular literary text or author. In tutorial discussions and exercises, we will also further comprehension related to literary genre, textual modalities, critical approaches to literature and general reading and writing strategies.




We will meet twice a week, for a 2-hour session on Tuesdays and a 1-hour tutorial on Fridays (First semester). The first hour on Tuesdays will consist of a lecture; the second hour will usually be devoted to workshop discussion and group and individual tasks. The tutorials on Fridays offer in-depth discussion and exercises on our core syllabus texts (‘Lizzie Leigh’, In Memoriam, Great Expectations), and also guidance in reading and writing strategies. As this course has 75 students in it, each student will only have a tutorial every other week, i.e. 5 tutorials in total over the course of the semester. There is also an ongoing Moodle forum for information and discussion, where students can share their views and questions with each other and with the course teacher and tutors. Important supplementary material will also be posted on the Moodle. There is thus a substantial interactive element to this course. And of course students are encouraged to also consult the course teacher/ tutor in regular office hours or by appointment.






Coursework: 100%

Course assessment is 100% coursework, comprising a mid-term writing exercise (40%), one term paper of 1,800-2,000 words (45%), and workshop, tutorial and class participation (15%).




Core texts:

Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘Lizzie Leigh’ (1850).
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H (1849).
Charles Dickens Great Expectations (1860-61).

These are the core texts that will keep popping up in our lectures and tutorials. Links to ‘Lizzie Leigh’ and In Memoriam will be provided; a copy of Great Expectations has to be bought by students. Additionally, a course reader with supplementary material (for lectures and tutorials) will be uploaded onto Moodle. This course reader comprises extracts from, or online links to, texts by Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, Henry Mayhew, Charles Darwin, Thomas Hughes, Coventry Patmore, John Ruskin, Eliza Lynn Linton, Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Charlotte Brontë, Anne Brontë, Richard Le Gallienne, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, Christina Rossetti, John Stuart Mill, Gerald Manly Hopkins, E.A. Houseman, Harriet Martineau and Joseph Chamberlain. Students are expected to read the core texts upon successful signing up for the course in August, and the relevant extracts prior to each lecture.



Last updated: 26 July 2018