English and drama

Period of Literature: 1750-1880

Module code: Q3135
Level 5
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module addresses a selection of authors and themes prominent between 1750 and 1880. It's taught in seminars supported by a weekly lecture series. Course content will vary from year to year depending on the expertise of those available to teach it.

Authors will be selected from (but not necessarily confined to) Johnson, Gray, Sterne, Goldsmith, Blake, Lewis, Austen, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Carlyle, De Quincey, Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Ruskin, Dickens, Gaskell, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, W.M. Thackeray, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy.

Themes may include:

  • sentimentalism and sensibility
  • slavery and empire
  • Romantic aesthetics and Romantic poetry
  • theories of the sublime and the imagination
  • the Gothic
  • responses to the French Revolution and the oppression of women
  • images of women
  • the condition of England question
  • progress and evolution
  • art and society;
  • mind and spirit
  • the inner life;
  • culture in crisis

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the connections between literature, both dominant and marginal, and its social, cultural, intellectual and historical contexts.
  • Communicate effectively a critical and contextual understanding of the practice of literature in the period as exemplified in appropriate textual instances.
  • Assess and explain aspects of the relationship between the contexts of literature and developments in genre and representation.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current reflections on and debates about the period of study.