Department of English UG Module Directory (2020)

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Victorian Literature and Disability

Level 6 (15 credits)

From weeping over Tiny Tim to shrinking back from Blind Pew: disability is a key trope deployed in Victorian fiction to provoke a range of emotional effects, from pity to fear. How often though, do we encounter differently-abled heroes and heroines in nineteenth-century literature, and what narrative possibilities are open to them? What was the effect of illness or impairment on the nineteenth century writer? Drawing on critical theories from disability studies, we will explore a range of ways in which the Victorians experienced and represented disability.

Preparing for this Module and Approximate Costs

Charles Dickens, 'A Christmas Carol', in A Christmas Carol, and Other Christmas Writings, ed. by Michael Slater (Penguin, 2003) is best - but any good quality annotated edition 

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island - any good quality annotated edition

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography - any good quality annotated edition

Dinah Craik, Olive: A Novel, ed. by Cora Kaplan (Oxford, 1999) - this edition is best

Wilkie Collins, The Law and the Lady, ed. by Jenny Bourne Taylor (Oxford, 2008) is best, but any good quality annotated edition

Susan Coolidge, What Katy Did, introduced by Cathy Cassidy (Puffin, 2009) is good, but any edition by good quality publisher e.g. Penguin, Oxford

Primary texts costing up to £45 if purchased new in recommended editions. These costs can be reduced by purchasing items second-hand or borrowing them from the Library and many texts are also available free online. 

Return tube travel to Zone 1 on one occasion for field trip.

Learning Context Long Seminar
Semester 1

1. Research Exercise (1,500 words), 30%
2. Essay (3,000 words), 70%

Mode of reassessment Standard
Contact Heather Tilley