United Kingdom, Exeter

Victorian Evolutions and Revolutions: Literature and Visual Culture

when 2 July 2016 - 23 July 2016
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 ECTS
fee GBP 1700

This module explores a wide range of visual and literary texts, from gothic novels to Pre-Raphaelite paintings, which provide a sense of the extraordinary historical richness of the Victorian era.
In this module, we will study a series of major Victorian texts in detail, including a novel by Charles Dickens; some poetry by Tennyson and Browning; short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson, H G Wells and Mary Braddon; as well as art and architecture. We will place the literature and art in their historical, social, political and cultural contexts. The module is organized around the following significant themes, which galvanized the Victorians, as much as they concern us today:
the uses of the past
the condition of England
the woman question
commerce and the market
nationalism, imperialism, and global travel
urban life and the environment
science, medicine and the arts
the body
The sessions will be made up of lectures and seminar discussions, in which students are expected to participate. We will examine literary, visual and non-literary texts with issues of wider social, cultural, and historical context. In seminars we will read texts—whether literary, visual, historical, philosophical, or other—critically and in detail. We will also visit the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) to explore Victorian objects, architecture and art, and to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum to look at various forms of Victorian visual entertainment.
Key texts:
Gothic Evolutions, ed. Corinna Wagner (Broadview, 2014)
Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (Oxford)
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oxford)

Course leader

Dr Corinna Wagner

Target group

Undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or above; postgraduate students with an interest in the subject are also welcome.

Course aim

To explore key Victorian texts, architecture and art in their historical, social, political and cultural contexts in classes, through visits to a number of museums and in the cities of Exeter, Bath and London.

Fee info

GBP 1700: Tuition and social programme fees which includes a weekend in London, events on campus and day trips to Bath and St Ives.
GBP 760: Accommodation plus breakfast and dinner.


We offer a number of partial scholarships.