AMS-30031 - Silence, Strength and Sentiment: Gender and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century American Writing
Coordinator: James H Peacock Room: CBB0.025 Tel: +44 1782 7 33140
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

The nineteenth century saw great changes in American society. Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, shifts in economic structure, the movement away from a hard, masculine, Puritan Christianity toward more domesticated and sociable forms of worship: these trends and more had profound effects on the way gender roles were defined and perceived. This module looks at a number of major literary works by canonical U.S. authors and explores the ways in which anxieties about changing gender roles and relationships were dramatised and narrativised. It also explores the relationship between authorship, gender and sexuality and how the demands of the literary marketplace may have placed particular demands on both male and female authors of the time.

To introduce students to a range of major authors, artists and works from the nineteenth century
To analyse the different ways in which male writers portray the female and work through anxieties about gender identities
To introduce students to key themes, issues and problems in American literature
To develop literary critical skills
To develop broad skills in written expression and literary analysis
To develop research skills

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe and evaluate basic features of disciplinary (literary) scholarship relating to study of the United States: 1,2
describe and analyse features of the social, historical, and political identity of the United States with particular reference to issues of gender and sexuality: 1,2
analyse and interpret a range of primary (novels and poems) and secondary (critical books and articles)written sources: 1,2
make coherent arguments based on evidence and analysis orally and in writing: 1,2
relate textual analysis to social, cultural and historical contexts of the nineteenth century: 1,2
carry out detailed and focussed research for essays using a range of textual and electronic sources: 1,2
consistently employ the bibliographical, referencing and presentation requirements of the core disciplines in preparing reports and essays: 1,2

Study hours

24 hours of seminars and asynchronous activities such as online discussion threads; 36 hours seminar preparation; 60 hours critical report and essay; 30 hours wider research

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 30%
1,000-word report in preparation for longer essay
Students come up with essay title and prepare plan, bibliography and detailed analysis of 2 or 3 relevant secondary sources.

2: Essay weighted 70%
2,500-3,000-word essay
Traditional, discursive essay on same topic as the report.