HS3S69-The Countryside in English Culture, c.1750-1939, B

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: HS3S19 The Countryside in English Culture, c.1750-1939, A
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Jeremy Burchardt

Email: j.burchardt@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems. This particular module studied the concept of the countryside and the role the countryside has played in English culture in the period.

Aims:
Specials aim to provide 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems. This particular module studied the concept of the countryside and the role the countryside has played in English culture in the period.

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

  • achieve a detailed command of the themes, events and eras studied
  • locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing
  • deploy primary materials to shed light on the issues and problems being studied.

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student's effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
The countryside has played a central role in English culture since the eighteenth century. This is paradoxical since during this period rural England has become economically, socially and political marginal. Part of the explanation is that, as Raymond Williams influentially showed in his classic study The Country and the City (1973), representations of the countryside are not only a response to the countryside itself but also act as a mirror to powerful changes affecting society as a whole, in particular urbanisation, industrialisation and the rise of capitalism. The concept of 'the countryside' was a creation of the modern period, and we will look at the significance of the English landscape garden in establishing a distinction between land as a productive resource and landscape as an aesthetic amenity. Perhaps even more important was the transformation accomplished by literary romanticism in the 1790s and early 1800s: by infusing landscape with spiritual meaning, the romantic poets created a way of responding to the countryside which in many respects continues to inform perceptions of rural England to this day. Amongst other themes we will consider are the rise of the regional novel in the nineteenth century, the evolution of English landscape painting and the ruralist tradition in English music, notably through the folk revival and the classical composers such as Vaughan Williams and Finzi who were influenced by it.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching for this module and for HS3S19 together involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. Students will gain 'hands-on' experience of the historian's task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 88 89
       
Total hours by term 99.00 101.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment is by a long essay to be submitted in the summer term. Papers should not exceed 3,500 words excluding footnotes and bibliography. Papers which exceed the word limit by more than 5% will incur a penalty of five marks. Candidates will be rewarded for making appropriate use of the prescribed texts. Papers must be submitted electronically via Blackboard and a hard copy handed in to the History office in week 2, by 12 noon on Friday at the latest.

Formative assessment methods:
For each class there will be 'set texts' including visual material such as paintings. You should be ready to answer questions on these 'set texts' during the relevant class; the gobbet questions in Paper A of the exam will also be based on these texts. For some classes you will be asked to prepare a short presentation (5 to 10 minutes long) commenting on a particular text. In addition, you may be asked to prepare one or two longer seminar presentations each term (about twenty minutes). In addition to the set texts and other primary sources you should read as much secondary source material as possible.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener 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:
    n/a

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree, but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Where students are permitted to resit this module, coursework must be resubmitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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