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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

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable