WRITING THE VICTORIANS: NEO-VICTORIANISM IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE - 2024/5

Module code: ELI2050

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 1950s and 60s before exploring the expansion of the genre in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It will cover a range of neo-Victorian productions including novels, poetry, 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 issues of race, class, gender and sexuality which are interrogated and challenged by neo-Victorian works.

The module draws upon and enhances the core knowledge and research skills acquired in second year Victorian Literature focussed modules. 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 in the 1st, 2nd and final years.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DOVE Danielle (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

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 50

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes novels and poems by writers such as Jean Rhys, Sarah Waters, Richard Flanagan and Diana Ferrus, along with other cultural texts including film adaptations, televisual series, and non-fiction works.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Either: Critical Essay (2500 words) OR Creative Portfolio (2000 words) plus Critical Commentary (500 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 in addition to the development of employability skills, digital capabilities, global and cultural capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed to assess transferable skills in communicating complex ideas orally and 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 2500-word critical essay assesses subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language, as well as analytical skills in critical thinking, and 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 2500-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 2000-word creative portfolio and 500-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 secondary material that surrounds it will provide a context for their creative writing on themes related to developments in the literary and creative industries.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • A critical essay (2500 words)



or


  • A creative portfolio (2000 words) + critical commentary (500 words)



Formative assessment and feedback:

Formative 'feed forward' is provided through seminar discussion and tutor feedback in seminars.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: 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 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: 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 CT
004 Analyse key issues challenged by neo-Victorian writers KC
005 Develop a creative project connected to one of the strands of neo-Victorian cultural production explored in this module KCP
006 Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in oral and written formats, including online writing PT
007 Work independently in conducting research, developing competency in using digital tools and materials for writing and research PT

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 ensure that students achieve the module learning outcomes and develop key competencies in digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, and resourcefulness and resilience. It will encourage students to think and work independently and will support them in developing transferable professional skills which will prove essential across a number of career pathways.

The delivery of the module through two-hour lecture-seminars places a strong emphasis on student-led learning. Through discussion, debate, and group and pairs work, students will develop their skills in analysing, communicating, and questioning ideas to a diverse group of their peers. Students will engage in guided and independent learning activities, and will learn how to conduct research as well as effectively manager their time. The module content is research-led and asks students to develop a broad understanding of formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature.

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: ELI2050

Other information

The School of Literature and Languages is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: This module builds upon the employability skills fostered in first year modules to further develop students' competences in critical thinking and analysis. Students will engage intellectually with a range of complex theories and ideas and will be guided on how to construct an effective argument. Additionally, they will develop their skills communicating ideas both orally and in their writing.

Digital Capabilities: In addition to attending lectures and seminars, students on this module will engage with a number of multi-media resources, such as online archives, scholarly websites, blogs, documentaries, and podcasts. The module also makes use of the university's virtual learning platform, SurreyLearn, and will require students to engage with digital learning material and resources, as well as captured content.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Neo-Victorian texts tend to centre traditionally marginalised histories and narratives. In studying such texts students will consider the specific political, social, and cultural ways that we engage with the Victorian past in the present. Seminars will also encourage students to situate themselves within a diverse student community, offering them opportunities for considering alternative viewpoints and to communicate their ideas about Victorian literature and its historical and cultural resonances thoughtfully and respectfully.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Lectures and seminars are scaffolded by pre-class requirements such as the completion of set reading and pre-seminar questions to help guide students' learning. The aim of this is to encourage self-directed study and to promote independence and individual resourcefulness. Peer and tutor feedback in seminar discussions develops students' confidence in communicating analytical and critical ideas. Group work will also provide opportunities for students to develop their thinking both independently and in conjunction with others.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish 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
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 with German 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 2024/5 academic year.