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Module

SEL2204 : Victorian Passions: Victorian Values

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jacob Jewusiak
  • Lecturer: Dr Ella Mershon, Dr Ella Dzelzainis, Dr Kirsten MacLeod
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

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 four key debates – questions of sexuality and morality, class conflict, the clash between science and faith, 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 - the Fallen Woman; Class Conflict; Faith and Doubt; and Empire - will be taught via at least two texts in which the issue is a central concern (though there will inevitably be overlap as gender, for example, cannot be adequately discussed without reference to class and religion in the Victorian period). In addition, all three literary genres will be covered. There will be a text per week. Indicative texts and authors 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.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials162:0032:00Asynchronous lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion133:0033:00Asynchronous learning
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading188:0088:00Asynchronous learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00Synchronous in person
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Asynchronous learning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Asynchronous guided learning activities
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.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A753000 words
Written exercise1M251000 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.

Reading Lists

Timetable