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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: English Short Name: ELI2010
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: TATE GP Dr (English)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Semester 2
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment



Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


Essay 1500 words












Individual Presentation as part of Group Presentation






Group Work (formative)






Module Overview

This module develops the knowledge and skills introduced at level 1 and gives students a wider and deeper understanding of the traditional material of the Anglophone canon. It covers a wide chronological period: from Victorian writing through to early twentieth century Modernism.





There are two other points of continuation from level 1: first a sense of historical contextualisation that focuses on key moments of change, and second, a generic pathway that covers drama, poetry and prose.





The thematic focus of the whole module is on identity and the way that the self is constructed through literary discourses, and how this representation changes over time.





Above all, the module ensures that students have a solid basis for understanding English literature from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. This knowledge will be extended and deepened through the optional modules in semester 2 and at level 3.
Module Aims

The module aims to further develop students skill and knowledge in:





  • periods of English Literature from Victorian to Modernism;


  • the ways genres developed;


  • the theoretical and critical methodologies that underpin the study of these periods;


  • skills in close reading, analysis and critical thinking;


  • skills in oral and written communication;


  • the ability to work independently and as a group in seminars;


  • skills in time management via group presentation organisation and essay submission.








The module aims to deepen and expand students’ knowledge of:





  • key writings and themes in English literature from the nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries;


  • individual author’s writing;


the development of the self and individual identity.
Learning Outcomes

By the conclusion of the module students will have a wide knowledge of:



·         the key periods, writers and themes of English literature from Victorian writing to  Modernism;



·         the primary theoretical and critical apparatus used to analyse these materials;



·         the way that identity develops and changes from the nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries;



·         how to use critical material and theoretical methodologies in relation to close textual analysis and critical thinking



·         how to communicate orally in presentations and in written form via essays;



·         working both individually and as a group



  • ability to develop a timetable for group presentation activities and essay deadline submission.
Module Content

Week 1



Lecture (BP)



Introduction to the chronological range of the module and the way in which ideas about identity were established and changed through this period. This session will provide a brief introduction to:



  • Victorian literature


  • The growth of Modernism


It will also develop students’ understanding of change in terms of historical contextualisation and an understanding of genre; both were the focus of level 1 modules.



A short description of the module’s assessment will be provided as well as a discussion on the use of ULearn.









Module orientation





Week 2



Lecture (BP)



Begins a set of lectures on the nineteenth century novel with a focus on Charles Dickens.








Oliver Twist (1837-8)





Week 3



Lecture (BP)



This lecture will focus on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel Cranford (1851). We will explore the novel's depiction of Victorian provincial life and the oncoming 'threat' of industrialisation. Central to the text is the construction of a powerful community of women, and we will consider the ways in which humour is being used to underscore the idea of group identity. There will also be a screening of extracts from the recent BBC adaptation.








The session will make use of close readings from the novel to further explore the relationship between literary humour and the construction of place and community identity.





Week 4



Lecture (BP)



George Eliot, Mill on the Floss (1860)








Mill on the Floss





Week 5



Lecture (GT)



The focus on understanding the self turns to explore Victorian poetry. The focus this week will be on Tennyson. All extracts available via LION













Week 6



Lecture (GT)



Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Selection from LION.








Elizabeth Barrett Browning





Week 7



Lecture (HU)



Discusses Pre-Raphaelite poetry and sets text against image. All poems available via LION.













Week 8



Lecture (HU)



Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)



'Art for art's sake': this lecture examines the hedonistic Dorian Gray who sells his soul in order to remain young and beautiful forever.  Investigating the themes of decadence and aesthetics, this session will explore questions of identity and beauty in the fin-de-siecle context. 








Set text: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray





Week 9



Lecture (DA)



Modernist poetry (T.S.Eliot; Ezra Pound; W.B.Yeats. Selection available on LION>








Chosen by tutor and group from a selection of Modernist poets.





Easter Vacation





Week 10



Lecture (PIB)



Deals with changes that occurred in the twentieth century with a focus on how identity was shifting. The focus of this lecture will be the Woman question and will trace developments in the nineteenth century through to the suffragettes. The focus will be on Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925) and A Room of One’s Own (1931).










Set texts: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One’s Own





Week 11



Lecture (PIB)



Looks at the challenge to realist representations of the self and presents the way that writing challenged conventional notions of identity in terms of form and content. The focus will be on James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916).








Set text: James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.





Week 12








Week 13



Exams/ Assessment





Week 14



Exams/ Assessment





Week 15



Exams/ Assessment





Assessment deadlines





Essay: 06/04/2011





Exam: tbc





Oral presentation:  Throughout the module



Methods of Teaching/Learning
One one-hour lecture and one one-hour seminar each week. The lectures offer a wide coverage of material and it is expected that tutors will focus on selected material from the lectures in the seminar. Seminars will be both tutor- and student-led.
Selected Texts/Journals

Essential Reading











Elizabeth Barrettt Browning



Pre-Raphaelite Poets



Modernist Poets





Other texts



Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2006)



George Eliot, Mill on the Floss (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2006)



Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2006)



James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2000)



Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2004)



Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2000) and A Room of One’s Own (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 2002)





Recommended Reading



Armstrong, Isobel, Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Politics, Poetics (1993)



Armstrong, Tim, Modernism: A Cultural History (2005)



David, Deirdre, The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel ( Cambridge : CUP, 2001)



Edmond , Rod, Affairs of the Hearth: Victorian Narrative Poetry and the Ideology of the Domestic (1988)



Fletcher, Ian (ed.), Decadence and the 1890s (1979)



Flint , Kate, The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (1993)



Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: the Woman Writer and the Nineteenth century Literary Imagination (New Haven: Yale UP, 1993)



Gilmour, Robin, The Victorian Period: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1830-90 (London: Longman, 1994)



Helsinger, Elizabeth, Robin Lauterbach Sheets and William Veeder, The Woman Question: Society and Literature in and , 1837-1883, 3 vols (1983)



Keating, Peter, The Haunted Study: A Social History of the English Novel, 1875-1914 (1989)



Kolocotroni, Vassiliki (ed.), Modernism: an anthology of sources and documents (1998)



Ledger, Sally, The New Woman: Fiction and Feminism in the Fin de Siecle (1997)



Leighton, Angela (ed.), Victorian Women Poets: a Critical Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996)



Levenson, Michael (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Modernism (Cambridge: CUP, 1999).



Literature of the Victorian Period (



Nicholls, Peter, Modernisms. A Literary Guide (1995)



Poovey, Mary, The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985)



Poovey, Mary, Uneven Developments. The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian (1988)



Pykett, Lyn (ed.), Reading Fin de Siecle Fictions (1996)



Rainey, Lawrence (ed.), Modernism. An Anthology (2005)



Said, Edward, Culture and Imperialism (1993)



Tate, Trudi, Modernism, History and the First World War (1998)



The Modern Word (



The Victorian Web (



Trotter, David, The English Novel in History (1993)



Tucker, Herbert F (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to Victorian Writing (1998)



Wheeler, Michael, English Fiction of the Victorian Period (London: Longman, 1994)



Williams, Raymond, Culture and Society, 1780-1950 (1958)





Please note that the library has all the Cambridge Companions as e-books.
Last Updated

10 September 2010 JG