Exeter, United Kingdom

Victorian Decadents, Degenerates, Goths and Global Citizens

when 2 July 2024 - 29 July 2024
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee GBP 1750

Formerly known as Victorian Revolutions and Evolutions: Literature and Visual Culture, this module has now changed title to better reflect the variety of perspectives and ideas looked at within the module itself.

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 and London.

Fee info

GBP 1750: Tuition Fees, Registration Fee, On Campus Events, Field Trips
GBP 2000: Accommodation, Airport Transfer, Day Trips, Programme Transport, London Orientation Multi Day Trip


We offer a number of partial scholarships.