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Study information

An Emotional Experience: Russian Literature and the Expression of Feeling

Module titleAn Emotional Experience: Russian Literature and the Expression of Feeling
Module codeMLR1006
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Emily Lygo (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

You will read a range of works or parts of works of Russian literature – available to you in Russian and in translation – which are concerned at least in part with the expression of emotion and mood. The module aims to get you think about how writers create mood and express feeling in literature and in particular the relationship between language and emotion.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This is a module that looks at the expression of emotion in literature and analyses how such expression is achieved. We aim to get you thinking about what it means for literature to create, express or describe emotion. What, for example, is the relationship of the author to those emotions? Does language straightforwardly express emotion, and if so, whose? We will be discussing the problems that we encounter in reading and understanding emotion in literature and thinking about the reasons why writers explore emotion in the ways that they do. The module will help you to think about how writers interrogate our experience of emotion through their works.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Discuss the relationship between literature and emotion, and how literature both expresses and interrogates human emotion.
  • 2. Distinguish between the author of a work and the expression of emotion through character and persona, understanding that the two cannot be assumed to overlap.
  • 3. Determine how literature can help readers to explore the human condition.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Read and discuss literature independently and in groups, drawing on secondary literature for support with interpretation.
  • 5. Identify the construction of narrative voice and persona in prose and poetry and be able to talk about this as a feature of imaginative literature that distinguishes it from life writing or non-fiction.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Work together with others to produce assignments as a team.
  • 7. Express ideas effectively and clearly both orally and in writing.

Syllabus plan

The course will typically cover four main areas:

  • Lyric voice and the expression of emotion in literature 
  • The limits of language, the impossibility of expressing emotion
  • Body and mood, environment and mood 
  • Genre, readers’ expectations, and the role of literature in creating emotions

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 Teaching6Six one-hour lectures: Introduction; 4 x topics; concluding lecture
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1010 seminars, 2 for each topic
Guided independent study134Core and further reading; preparation for lectures, seminars and assessment.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Glossary250 words1-2, 5, 7Written feedback
Group discussion presented at a seminar15-20 minutes1-7Verbal feedback

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
Portfolio of written pieces1002 x 500 words; 1 x 1000 words1-7Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio1-7Ref/Def period

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

  • Selection of poems, short stories and excerpts from longer works available in a booklet specifically for the module. This will typically include works from a selection of the following authors:
    Akhmatova, Blok, Brodsky, Bulgakov, Bunin, Chekhov, Dostoevskii, Karamzin, Lermontov, Maiakovskii, Okudzhava, Parnok, Pasternak, Pushkin, Teffi, Tiutchev, Tolstoi, Tsvetaeva, Turgenev

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – Faculty to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • A full reading list will be available on ELE

Key words search

Russian literature, emotion, feeling, poetry, short story, novel

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date