ENGL 2051 - Literature and Society in Victorian Britain

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The nineteenth century witnessed extraordinary social and cultural change in Britain, from the rise of industrial capitalism to the emancipation of women, from the decline of Christian belief to the growth of Empire, from urbanisation to the emergence of mass literacy. This course will introduce students to some significant texts and literary movements of the period, in the wider context of social transformation and emerging literary practices. Issues to be considered will include the establishment of the novel as the dominant literary genre, the ways in which social values are encoded and contested in literary texts, and the relationship of traditional and experimental practices in poetic forms. The course aims to develop students' analytic and critical skills through an engagement with a range of issues and methodologies in literary studies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENGL 2051
    Course Literature and Society in Victorian Britain
    Coordinating Unit English and Creative Writing
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Assumed Knowledge Familiarity with the reading & analysis of literary texts equivalent to Level I English standard
    Course Description The nineteenth century witnessed extraordinary social and cultural change in Britain, from the rise of industrial capitalism to the emancipation of women, from the decline of Christian belief to the growth of Empire, from urbanisation to the emergence of mass literacy. This course will introduce students to some significant texts and literary movements of the period, in the wider context of social transformation and emerging literary practices. Issues to be considered will include the establishment of the novel as the dominant literary genre, the ways in which social values are encoded and contested in literary texts, and the relationship of traditional and experimental practices in poetic forms. The course aims to develop students' analytic and critical skills through an engagement with a range of issues and methodologies in literary studies.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Maggie Tonkin

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand and interpret key Victorian texts.
    2. Explain key aspects of Victorian literary genres, including the novel and poetry.
    3. Read and interpret literary criticism and apply it within an academic argument.
    4. Locate and access appropriate primary and secondary sources.
    5. Evaluate critical arguments about Victorian realism and incorporate into their own arguments.
    6. Write logical and coherent arguments based on evidence, and engage in critical debate.
    7. Work with others in the exploration of ideas and the negotiation of solutions to problems.
    8. Use technologies relevant to the University learning environment.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4,8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5,6,7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5,6,7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4,8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,3,4,5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6,7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Primary texts:
    Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
    Dickens, Charles. Hard Times.
    Eliot, George. Middlemarch.
    Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White.
    Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness.
    Selected Victorian poetry in  the Course Reader, which will be available from Week 1

    Secondary Texts:
    There are many suitable secondary texts on Victorian poetry and fiction. Strongly recommended:
    Brantlinger, Patrick and William B. Thesing. A Companion to the Victorian Novel. Maldon, MA.: Blackwell, 2005.
    Bristow, Joseph (ed). The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000.
    Purchase, Sean. Key Concepts in Victorian Literature. Palgrave Key Concepts. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

    Online learning:
    The English home page on the Barr Smith Library site has an excellent section on resources for the study of Victorian Literature. Click on the following link:
    http://linguides.adelaide.edu.au/english
     click on the dropdown menu for literary periods and click 'Victorian'

    All lectures will be recorded and available on MyUni, and all lecture powerpoints and other additional material will also be available on MyUni.


  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students are expected to read and have a thorough knowledge of five novels and a small number of Victorian poems. Lectures will introduce the historical background of the Victorian period, and cover the production, reception and interpretation of the set texts,  always situating them within this historical context. Seminars will involve student presentations on research questions related to the set texts, close reading exercises, and both small and large group discussion of textual interpretations and literary criticism. Seminars are designed to increase student engagement with Victorian literary texts, to encourage student participation in literary criticism and debate, and to nurture student research interests.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students will commit a total of 156 hours over the semester.
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are expected to have read the set texts before the lecture. Note that attendance at seminars is a requirement of this course.
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.

    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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