ENG-30082 - Tristram Shandy
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 2018/19

English Dual Honours (Level 6)
English Major (Level 6)
English Minor (Level 6)
English Single Honours (Level 6)
English and American Literatures Single Honours (Level 6)
English with Creative Writing Single Honours (Level 6)
Medical Humanities Single Honours (Level 6)

Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2018/19

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-67) is a metafictional masterpiece, a bizarre, sprawling, weird and wonderful novel. Its hero sets out to tell his LIFE but gets so distracted with his OPINIONS that he struggles to get very far beyond his own birth! And the whole thing somehow ends five years before he is born. Along the way, Laurence Sterne plays games with narrative, with the format of books, with language, and with human frailty and obsession. If you enjoy eccentricity, storytelling, satire, and innuendo, you will love this novel. But you will be baffled by it as well (at least if you're reading it right). On the module we will set Tristram Shandy in its Georgian contexts, including politics, religion, the family, gender, sexuality, biography, philosophy, and the rising novel. But you will also have the chance to look at adaptations and appropriations including a modern film (A Cock and Bull Story) and graphic novel version (by Martin Rowson). There are not many novels that justify a whole module, but this is one of them!
The only book you need to buy is the Penguin Classics edition of Tristram Shandy, edited by Melvyn New and Joan New.

- To give students the opportunity to study a major work of literature in depth.
- To give students the opportunity to engage with eighteenth-century literary culture via a capacious representative of that tradition, Tristram Shandy.
- To allow students to develop an independent approach to their critical engagement with Tristram Shandy.

Intended Learning Outcomes

appraise and critique literary text in light of its historical significance and/or its formal properties: 1
engage in close analysis of literary text and communicate this in extended written work: 1
identify, utilise, and evaluate critical approaches to literature: 1,2,3
apply relevant theoretical methodologies and evaluate their usefulness: 1,2,3
conduct independent research, assimilate and synthesise research, and present findings in written form: 1,2
devise, develop, construct, and sustain an argument in written work: 1,2

Study hours

24 hours classes (12 x 2 hr)
2 hour film screening
1 hour individual consultation
69 hours independent reading
30 hours researching and writing essay
12 hours researching and writing short paper
12 hours posting to KLE discussion threads

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 60%
Essay 3000 words
Researched essay, chosen from a list of topics (or students can devise their own topic subject to the tutor's approval)

2: Short Paper weighted 20%
Short paper
A critical review of journal article, length 1200 words

3: Class Participation weighted 20%
Class participation and KLE discussion thread posts
Each student will be required to post to weekly discussion threads set up by the tutor (and/or by designated students). They should post twice weekly, with contributions totalling c. 200 words per week. Marks will be awarded for the quality of posts and for contribution (i.e. marks will be depressed if they do not contribute). These posts will inform seminar discussions: students will be rewarded for the quality of their contributions to classes and their preparation