EN2VIC-Victorian Literature

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1 or A-Level (A*, A or B)
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Lucy Bending

Email: l.v.bending@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The Victorian era is one of great diversity and tension. It is a period when authors began to think about man's place in a world without God; about the workings of the mind; and the role of class and gender in the construction of identity. This module will engage with these, and other ideas, looking at some of the greatest works of Victorian literature. The module will include novels (Charlotte Bronte's Villette, H G Wells' Island of Dr Moreau, and Hardy's Return of the Native), poetry (Tennyson's In Memoriam, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese, and Robert Browning's dramatic monologues) and plays (Wilde's A Woman of No Importance). We will also be looking at Thackeray and Dickens's journalism as they try to find words to write about a public hanging. The module offers a broad and exciting sweep of different modes of writing, drawing on some well-known and canonical texts, and some texts that are less frequently studied in an attempt to understand what mattered to the Victorians.

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of many of the major developments of the literature in the Victorian period. It is designed to develop students’ skills of close textual analysis, and to equip them to recognise a number of the main topics in, and chief influences upon, the poetry and prose of the period.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

•analyse in detail the language and other distinctive features of the texts studied
•identify the influence of major movements of the Victorian period
•consider the possibilities of different literary forms, whether novel, poetry or non-fictional prose.
•engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or secondary materials
•organize and articulate a coherent written argument, both in coursework essays and under timed examination conditions.

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

Outline content:
This module will include texts by well-known writers such as Tennyson, Gaskell, and Hardy, as well as less well-known Victorian texts.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A combination of lectures and structured seminar discussion, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative essay. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 1
Seminars 10
Tutorials 0.5
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 139.5 37
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Students write one formative essay, of approximately 1500 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 1800-2000 words, or the equivalent placement report. Feedback on written exams will be available on request from the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22 August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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