HS3T88-The Romantic Revolution: Culture, Environment and Society in England, c.1790-c.1900

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Jeremy Burchardt

Email: j.burchardt@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The Romantic Revolution was the third of the great revolutions that shaped the modern world, alongside the French and Industrial Revolutions.  It transformed culture in a way that was comparable to the effect of the French Revolution on politics and the Industrial Revolution on the economy.  While less easy to define than the other two revolutions, the Romantic Revolution had, in the view of scholars such as Isaiah Berlin and Tim Blanning, still greater consequences for the way we think and perhaps even feel about the world.  This module looks at Romanticism in England from its origins in the eighteenth century through to its nineteenth-century apogee. 



This module aims to introduce students to some of the most original, far-reaching and profound ideas and achievements of English Romanticism.  We will focus particularly on the way Romantic artists and writers understood the relationship between nature and humanity, a core theme of English Romanticism and one that continues to resonate powerfully today.  Throughout, the emphasis will be on situating Romanticism within its wider social and political history context. The module makes extensive use of primary sources and should appeal to any student interested in the links between culture, society and politics.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

- identify and explain the main issues and events studied

- acquire a detailed knowledge of the events through extensive reading in specialised literature

- locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research

- appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject

- organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.

Additional outcomes:

The 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:

Throughout the module, the emphasis is on the way English Romanticism turned to nature and the environment as a source of inspiration and, crucially, to hold up a mirror to society. Romanticism and the cultural traditions that derived from it offered a powerful, searching critique of social and political change in Britain as it went through the seismic upheaval of the Industrial Revolution.  Romantic writers and artists such as Dorothy and William Wordsworth, the working-class poet John Clare, the painter Turner, art critic Ruskin and designer and socialist William Morris have been heralded as the first environmentalists and the profound questions they asked about the relationship between capitalism, nature and social justice are every bit as relevant today as they were in the nineteenth century.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The teaching for this module will be seminar based.  Seminars will typically include one or more mini-lectures to present factual knowledge, so as to contextualise problems and questions, and also introduce students to historiographical debates. Seminars rely on structured group discussion and may also include seminar papers by students, discussion of evidence, team-based exercise and debates. 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
Lectures 10
Seminars 20
Demonstration 1
Guided independent study: 169
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 3 examinations.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write one essay of not more than 2,500 words, to be submitted electronically via Blackboard by 12 noon on the Monday of week 9 of the term. Five marks will be deducted if the coursework essay exceeds 2,625 words (i.e. 5% over the word limit).

Formative assessment methods:

1,000 words or 2 pages of A4 maximum to include, at the module convenor's discretion, an essay plan, bibliography, book review or other preparatory work towards the summative essay.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment 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 a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019


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