Surrey University Stag

MOBILITIES OF NATION AND EMPIRE: VICTORIAN LITERATURE 1850-1890 - 2023/4

Module code: ELIM040

Module Overview

This module explores the relationship between national and imperial identities in literature from the 1850s to 1890s by writers from Britain and beyond, including Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, Behramji Malabari and James Africanus Horton. The module introduces students to contextual debates about the nation-state and its imperial engagements, and seeks to understand how authors respond and contribute to these ideas through literature both from within and beyond Britain. The module engages with these themes through a focus on concepts of space and mobility, using literary journeys as a way into understanding how novelists construct a dialogue between national and imperial spaces in literary texts.

This module intersects with other mobility literature focussed modules on the MA programme, and as a hybrid creative writing and English literature module, it also makes up part of the creative writing pathway in the degree, connecting to creative writing modules across the degree.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DOVE Danielle (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: Q323

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 55

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes novels by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins and H. Rider Haggard, along with non-fiction from the period by writers including Behramji Malabari and James Africanus Horton. 

Texts studied in previous years include Bleak House, Cranford, Daniel Deronda, The Moonstone, The Indian Eye on English Life, and A Vindication of the African Race.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (4500 words) OR creative portfolio (3000 words or equivalent) plus critical commentary (1500 words) 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

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 as part of a group. 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. Formative feedback will also be provided on an optional mid-module 500 word blog post.

The 4500 word essay assess subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the analysis of literary form and language, cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. The essay also 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 in a sustained format.

Alternatively, students can produce a creative portfolio (3000 words) plus critical commentary (1500 words) responding to 1 of the texts on the module and related theories/concepts/contexts. The portfolio and commentary assess subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the analysis of literary form and language, cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, critical and creative reflection upon and response to module themes, concepts and contexts, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. The portfolio/commentary also 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 in a sustained format.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • 4500 word essay OR creative portfolio (3000 words) plus critical commentary (1500 words)



 

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, and through an optional 500 word blog post for the module blog mid-module. The blog post can discuss any aspect of interest within the reading and/or reflect on relevant contemporary resonances of the reading. Other feedback mechanisms will be agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: broaden and deepen contextual knowledge of nation and empire in the Victorian period
  • develop understanding of how literary texts respond to and inform contextual debates
  • introduce concepts of space and mobility as theories to engage with literary texts;
  • develop and strengthen skills in close reading and analysis of literary texts
  • advance students' critical thinking and application of theoretical frameworks to literature
  • improve oral and written communication skills
  • strengthen students' ability to undertake independent research, including using digital and online materials for research
  • broaden students' knowledge of writers beyond Britain in this era, looking at texts that engage with Britain and imperialism from countries such as India and Africa

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of contexts of nation and empire in the Victorian period K
002 Understand how to locate analyses of literary texts of the period in these broader historical and socio-cultural contexts, and use detailed close-reading to support this KC
003 Demonstrate advanced critical thinking and application of theoretical frameworks to literature C
004 Be able to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in oral and written formats, including online writing PT
005 Demonstrate skills in conducting independent research, including competency in using digital tools and materials for writing and research PT
006 Developed their ability to engage with theoretical and critical texts, and to employ theoretical and critical approaches in their writing CT

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 to develop cognitive and analytical skills in analysing fiction in its historical, socio-political and historical contexts, and enables students to develop skills in communicating and debating ideas. The module content is research-led and makes use of an online blog platform to support and advance students’ independent study through the integration of digital resources.

This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 7, is designed to develop subject knowledge through extended two-hour seminars and to develop transferable, practical, and professional skills, with an emphasis on sophisticated student-led involvement, critical analysis, discussion, and rhetorical ability.

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning. Students will be engage with preparatory work, including reading set texts and additional critical/theoretical material; engaging with pre-seminar questions to guide and direct independent study; and contributing to online discussion boards. The lecture-seminars will build upon and develop students’ independent study; they will feature a range of individual and group tasks aimed at enhancing students’ skills in critical and analytical thinking and honing oral and written communication skills. Students will learn through close reading, independent research exercises, debate, and discussion. They will engage with a range of different cultural texts including novels, short stories, poems, and Victorian paintings and photographs, and will benefit from watching video clips and listening to podcasts.

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELIM040

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

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 2023/4 academic year.