Skip to main content

Study information

Revolutions and Evolutions 19C Writings

Module titleRevolutions and Evolutions 19C Writings
Module codeEAS2029
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Tricia Zakreski (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Revolutions and Evolutions explores a wide range of literature written during the Victorian period. You will study literary texts by writers such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and Thomas Hardy in relation to central historical, social, and cultural developments in the nineteenth century. The texts on this module are thematically arranged in order to illuminate a number of the important and exciting conceptual developments of the nineteenth century including the production and consumption in world of work; developing notions of the self and subjectivity; the emergence of the mass cultural market; and the connections between the past, present, and future. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • As well as studying a selection of major Victorian texts in depth, to consider these texts in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. The use of a course reader will introduce you to a range of texts beyond the core reading that will give you a broad understanding of the major themes that influence the literary production of the period. Such themes include imperialism, industrialisation and urbanisation; gender and identity, religion, secularism and the rise of science; liberalism; the emergence of the mass market; and the development of new literary forms such as the short story.
  • To emphasise how these developments are inter-related and how they are engaged with literary and cultural production as it emerged in the course of the century. Lectures and seminars will model research and interpretation that brings together literary and non-literary texts with issues of wider social, cultural, and historical context. Seminars will aim to encourage you to read texts closely in full consciousness of their historical and cultural positioning. You will be expected to participate in class discussion and will be encouraged to hold independent small group meetings in preparation for the seminars. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate detailed, analytical knowledge of selected major texts from the Victorian period
  • 2. Demonstrate an appreciation of the relation between nineteenth-century literature and important historical and intellectual developments of the time

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Demonstrate an ability to analyse the literature of an earlier era and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical context
  • 4. Demonstrate an ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history
  • 5. Demonstrate an ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Through seminar work, demonstrate communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups
  • 7. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 8. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
  • 9. Through research, seminar discussion, and essay writing demonstrate a capacity to question assumptions, to distinguish between fact and opinion, and to critically reflect on their own learning process

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The Condition of England and the World of Work
  • The Self and Subjectivity
  • Narrating the Self
  • Writers and Readers
  • Serialisation and Print Culture:
  • Modernity and Anti-Modern Spaces and Times
  • Gender and the New Woman

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 1616 x 1 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 2211 x 2 hour seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 1Revision lecture
Guided independent study 103Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided independent study 158Reading, research and essay preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Contributions to discussion forums500-700 words1-5, 7-9Peer assessed with office hours follow-up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay452000 words1-5, 7-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Examination4524 hours1-5, 7-9Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up
Module participation10On-going 1-6, 8-9

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-5, 7-9Referral/Deferral period
ExaminationExamination1-5, 7-9Referral/Deferral period
Module participationIndividual reflection on discussion forum1-6, 8-9

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Primary texts may include, but are not limited to:

  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton (1848)..
  • Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd (1874).
  • H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines (1885)..
  • Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (1864-5).
  • Victorian Literature: A Sourcebook, ed. John Plunkett and Ana Parejo Vadillo Palgrave, 2012.
  • Angelique Richardson, ed, Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women, 1890-1914. Penguin, 2002.
  • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).
  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

English, literature, Victorian, 19th Century, revolution, evolution

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date