Module code: ELI2040

Module Overview

This interdisciplinary module, focused on Victorian creative partnerships, explores connections between texts, individuals, couples, circles and movements. It investigates the ways in which female and male figures worked in various forms of partnership: as spouses, siblings, friends and lovers. It examines a range of Victorian texts including poems, short stories, plays, novels and novellas, letters and diaries as well as visual texts. It engages with the themes of gender, sexuality, identity, power, partnership, co/authorship and readership. The module introduces students to contextual debates about sexual politics, gender and representation in the nineteenth-century, and seeks to understand how writers responded and contributed to them. It also reads nineteenth-century figures and texts in relation to more recent feminist and gender theory, revealing their continued cultural importance. Authors studied include: the Brownings, the Brontës, George Eliot and George Henry Lewes, Arthur Hugh Clough and Matthew Arnold, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, the Rossettis, and Michael Field.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

ROSE Lucy Ella (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Week 1: Introduction: from Browning to Bloomsbury Partnerships, Contexts and Theories

Weeks 2-3: A Marital Poetic Partnership

Week 4: A Filial Poetic Partnership

Week 5: A Common-law Marriage of Writers

Week 6: ‘Unequal Partners’

Weeks 7-8: Pre-Raphaelite Partnerships

Week 9: ‘Outcast Men’

Week 10: A Female ‘Fellowship’

Week 11: Conclusion: Bloomsbury and Beyond (and essay preparation)

Week 12: Site visit to Watts Gallery – Artists Village (Compton, Surrey)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Close Reading Exercise (500 words) 30
Coursework Essay (2000 words) 70

Alternative Assessment


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 Victorian literature. Seminars also assess cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in the analysis of literary form and language. The 1000-word close reading exercise assesses subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language. It also assesses cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. The 2000-word essay also assesses these skills, as well as subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of Victorian poetry and prose. The 2000-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.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

• 1000-word close reading exercise

• 2000-word essay Formative assessment and feedback Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, feedback on the first assessment (the close reading essay), and on the collaborative ‘Network Map’ presentations.

Module aims

  • • Develop an understanding of the formation and proliferation of creative partnerships (between man and woman, woman and woman, and man and man) in the Victorian period
  • • Deepen an understanding of the relationship between professional literary practice, partnership and politics in the Victorian period
  • • Expand knowledge of how Victorian writers responded to and informed contemporary gender debates and early feminist discourse
  • • Show how a diverse range of literary and visual texts can be read in conjunction and from more recent theoretical perspectives in order to advance students’ critical thinking and application of theoretical frameworks to literature
  • • Improve oral and written communication skills
  • • Develop and strengthen skills in close reading and analysis of literary texts
  • • Strengthen students’ ability to undertake independent and collaborative research, including using digital tools and online materials
  • • Enable students to explore how nineteenth-century partnerships and texts relate to wider historical, social, and cultural contexts

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the contexts, formations and practices of creative partnerships in the Victorian period K
002 Understand how to locate analyses of Victorian literature in broader historical and socio-political contexts, using detailed close reading to support this
003 Demonstrate advanced critical thinking and application of theoretical frameworks to Victorian literature C
004 Be able to effectively and professionally communicate information, arguments and analysis in oral and written formats T
005 Work independently and collaboratively in conducting research, demonstrating competency in using digital tools and archives P
006 Organise and apply the findings of that research in an essay T
007 Gather, evaluate, and use evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including the work of critics and theorists C
008 Construct a coherent and nuanced argument, and present that argument in written form C

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

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 Victorian partnerships and texts. It supports and advances students’ independent study through the use of digital resources. This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 6, 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2040

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2022/3 academic year.