Module Catalogue 2021/22

SEL2204 : Victorian Passions: Victorian Values

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jacob Jewusiak
  • Lecturer: Dr Ella Dzelzainis, Dr Kirsten MacLeod, Dr Ella Mershon
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

None

Aims

This module is designed to unpack the phrase, ‘Victorian values’, which nowadays invokes ideas of sexual repression, stifling middle-class morality, an unbending religious code, and jingoistic insularity. Yet the Victorians saw themselves as living in an age of unprecedented social change, engaging in passionate and controversial debates about the values of the world in which they lived. The module will explore five key debates – questions of gender/sexuality; religion; nature/science; class; race and empire – as they appeared in a range of different genres across the early, mid and late Victorian periods. In the course of the module students will:

Explore some of the most controversial debates of the Victorian period and their articulation in a range of Victorian literary texts.
Consider the formal expression of these debates in a range of different and developing literary genres.
Consider the discursive relationship between text and context in the Victorian novel.
Consider the relationship between literature, history and ideology.
Practise appropriate skills of critical analysis.

Outline Of Syllabus

Each of the topics - gender/sexuality; religion; nature/science; class; race and empire - will be explored in a range of literary genres. Indicative texts and authors may include Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles; Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market; Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books; George Bernard Shaw, Mrs Warren's Profession; Douglas Jerrold, The Rent Day; H. Rider Haggard, She; and queer poetry.

Keywords: femininity and masculinity; queer and transgressive sexualities; class conflict; race and empire; faith and doubt; ecocriticism and history of science; fantasy and realism; drama and theatre; poetry; novel; children’s literature.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module, you will have acquired:

knowledge of the most controversial debates of the Victorian period and their articulation in a range of Victorian literary texts

awareness of the formal expression of these debates in a range of different and developing literary genres

understanding of the discursive relationship between text and context in the Victorian novel

a grasp of the relationship between literature, history and ideology

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module, you will have further developed:

close reading skills and sensitivity to questions of genre

communication skills, and your ability to work both individually and in groups

research and bibliographic skills

the capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument

the ability to write clear and correct prose

proficiency in information retrieval and analysis

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion135:0035:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading190:0090:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study131:0031:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed introduce students to the texts to be studied, providing as much information about the period as possible and demonstrating strategies of reading which link texts to their context. The scheduled online contact time and workshops encourage students to incorporate this knowledge and develop these strategies in their own reading practice.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A753000 words
Written exercise2M251000 word commentary
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The commentary tests close reading skills and awareness of the relationship between text and context. The longer essay tests the more complex strategies of reading which take into account the wider Victorian context and competing ideologies of the period.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.