WRITING THE VICTORIANS: NEO-VICTORIANISM IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE - 2018/9

Module code: ELIM044

Module Overview

This module aims to explore a variety of neo-Victorian texts to examine how the legacy of the Victorians continues to inform contemporary culture. Students will be asked to consider the significance of neo-Victorian writing in the context of postmodernity and will analyse the literary, cultural and commercial impacts of the genre. The module will begin by considering early examples of neo-Victorian texts that emerged in the 1960s before exploring the expansion of the genre in the twentieth and twenty-first century. It will cover a range of neo-Victorian productions including novels, plays, film and TV adaptations that are informed by well-known Victorian texts in order to examine the wider cultural impact of contemporary engagements with the Victorian period, and will ask students to analyse those issues of race, class, gender and sexuality interrogated and challenged by neo-Victorian works

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

PULHAM PE Prof (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: Q321

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:
Week 1: Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
Week 2: John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969)
Week 3: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance (1990)
Week 4: Possession (2002; film adaptation, dir. Neil LaBute)
Week 5: Peter Ackroyd, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994)
Week 6: David Hare, The Judas Kiss (1998)
Week 7: Will Self, Dorian: An Imitation (2002)
Week 8: Sarah Waters, Fingersmith (2002);
Week 9: Fingersmith (2005; TV adaptation by Peter Ransley)
Week 10: Stephen Moffat, Sherlock: A Study in Pink (BBC; screened 2010)
Week 11: Tutorials

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay or Creative Portfolio plus Critical Commentary 100

Alternative Assessment

none

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed to assess professional/practical skills in communicating ideas orally and transferable skills in working individually and collaboratively. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature. Seminars also assess cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in the analysis of literary form and language.
The 4000-word critical essay assesses subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language, as well as cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature. The 4000-word essay further assesses transferable skills, namely the ability to conduct research for written work in an organised and critical fashion and to develop and communicate imaginative and rigorous arguments.

The 3000-word creative portfolio and 1000-word critical commentary encourages the development of students’ skills in creative writing (prose fiction, drama and/or poetry) and their understanding of the context of their work in historical and cultural terms, as well as in terms of other creative writing in the field. Productive and informed critical reflection on both the literary writing itself and the critical and secondary material that surrounds it will provide a context for their creative writing on themes or in techniques related to developments in the literary and creative industries
The summative assessment for this module consists of:
• A critical essay (4000 words)
or
• A creative portfolio (3000 words) + critical commentary (1000 words)
Formative assessment and feedback
Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussion and tutor feedback in seminars.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to neo-Victorianism and to analyse its emergence in the context of postmodern culture
  • Assess the influences and intertextual relationships between Victorian and neo-Victorian writings
  • Equip students to identify and interrogate the ways in which neo-Victorian works challenge the cultural primacy of the Victorian novel
  • Enable students to hone their critical and analytical skills through the examination of source and critical texts focussed on neo-Victorian cultural production
  • Encourage students to develop their own writerly styles and abilities in the light of neo-Victorian literary and creative developments

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Recognise the cultural importance of neo-Victorianism K
002 Identify the intertextual resonances between Victorian and neo-Victorian texts K
003 Demonstrate advanced critical thinking and engagement with theoretical debates that inform neo-Victorian cultural production C
004 Analyse key issues challenged by neo-Victorian CK
005 Develop a creative project connected to one of the strands of neo-Victorian cultural production explored in this module [Creative Writing students] CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Seminar Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. The delivery of the module through two-hour lecture-seminars places an emphasis on student-led learning, and enables students to develop their skills in analysing, communicating, and debating ideas. The module content is research-led and asks students to develop a sophisticated understanding of formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature. This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 7, is designed to develop subject knowledge through two-hour seminars and to develop transferable and professional skills, with an emphasis on sophisticated student-led involvement, critical analysis and discussion.
The learning and teaching methods include:
2-hour seminar per week x 11 weeks

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for WRITING THE VICTORIANS: NEO-VICTORIANISM IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/elim044

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Writing MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Creative Writing MFA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.