Surrey University Stag


Module code: ELI3023

Module Overview

This module explores the relationship between the fiction and the theatre by tracking modulating attitudes to performance in novels and plays from the 1830s to the twenty-first century. In representing theatres and actors of various kinds these writers ask significant questions about identity, morality, pleasure and authenticity. The frequent alignment of the theatre with the grotesque, the gothic, the comic, or the sexually transgressive allows this module to draw links between a diverse range of texts from Charles Dickens to Sarah Waters and encourages comparative thinking across time-frames and genres. The module deals with a number of theorists and encourages students to stretch their theoretical understanding and engagement.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

PALMER Beth (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: Q323

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 28

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Seminar Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None. This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.

Module content

Authors studied include: Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Caryl Churchill, Sarah Waters, Angela Carter and others. Please see reading list for further information.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY (3000 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Comparative analysis of texts across time frames and/or genres.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

3000 word comparative essay, i.e. the essay must engage substantially with two of the module’s texts and make comparisons between them

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative ‘feed forward’ will be provided by seminar tutors as responses to class discussions and to any unassessed presentations/ class tasks undertaken. The students will submit essay plans during weeks 8-10 and then have individual mini tutorials in which detailed feedback and advice is given.

Module aims

  • To help students acquire a knowledge and understanding of the theatre as a literary metaphor
  • To analyse attitudes to the theatre and performance in a selection of 19th, 20th and 21st-century texts.
  • To create stimulating comparisons of these texts across genres and time frames
  • To introduce relevant new theorists and to develop students' existing theoretical knowledge
  • To help students to think and learn independently, and to manage and organise their time efficiently;
  • To train students to research and evaluate sources, debates, and ideas, and to communicate their conclusions clearly and accurately in writing;
  • To enable students to discuss, debate, and exchange complex ideas as part of a group.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Have a wide and relatively sophisticated understanding of literature that reflects on issues of theatricality and performance K
2 Have knowledge of and ability to analyse how literature engages with issues of theatricality and performance in nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first-century literature K
3 Have an understanding of how relevant theories can be used to engage with the module's key themes of theatricality and performance C
4 The capacity to research, interpret, and evaluate sources, debates, and ideas independently and as part of a group; CT
5 Advanced skills in independent learning and time management; P
6 Advanced ability to structure and communicate complex arguments in writing; C
7 Advanced rhetorical skills for effective oral communication. T

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:


Facilitate independent research, encourage discussion and comparison, and to advance students’ understanding of the ways in which writers have dealt with issues of theatricality and performance by introducing new texts and theories.


The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Two-hour seminar each week x 11 weeks including short lectures, class discussion and group presentations

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: ELI3023

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.