ENG-30061 - Sex, Scandal and Society: Eighteenth-Century Writing
Coordinator: Nicholas P Seager Tel: +44 1782 7 33142
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 eighteenth century saw the emergence of the English novel, the rapid rise of the periodical press, and the professionalisation of imaginative writing, as well as an upsurge in comedies of social manners on the stage, a healthy flow of erotic and pornographic texts, and poetry whose sexual and satiric energy is barely curbed by social decorum and convention. In short, male and female authors were interested in society in fascinating new ways that were the result of the exponential growth of London, the financial revolution that helped erode old social hierarchies, changes in sexual relations and constructions of gender, celebrity culture, and the rise of personality-based politics. Perhaps it is not too much to say that our own society is the heir to changes that happened in the Georgian period, and this module is an opportunity to study the fiction, drama, and poetry of this period.

To introduce students to a range of writings from the period 1700-1790;
To develop students' skills in analysing literary texts;
To equip students with the skills to critically appraise contextual and theoretical methods

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

appraise and critique drama, fiction, poetry from the period 1700-1790 in light of their cultural contexts: 1,2
utilise and analyse critical approaches, and articulate this engagement in written work: 1,2
apply relevant theoretical methodologies and evaluate their usefulness: 1,2
carry out independent research, assimilate and synthesise research and present this in written form: 1,2
devise, develop, construct, and sustain an argument in written work: 2
engage in close analysis of texts and communicate this in concise and extended written form: 1,2

Study hours

24: tutorials
76: reading
20: discussion thread contributions
30: essay researching and writing

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 50%
KLE discussion thread contributions
Ahead of each seminar, students will post to weekly online discussion threads set up by the tutor. The questions and tasks will test a range of skills, including textual analysis, contextual research, engaging with secondary sources, and designing projects. Students will post once or twice weekly, as required, with contributions totalling c. 250 words per week for approx. 8 weeks (some weeks will be rest weeks). 2,000 words total.

2: Project weighted 50%
2,000 word essay or critical edition
EITHER an essay from a list of c. 10 options, with the opportunity for students to devise their own topic (with tutor's approval), OR a critical edition of a primary text from three options specified by the tutor (e.g. a poem, a scenes from a play); students produce a circa 1,600 word introduction and circa 400 words of explanatory annotation.