Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Place and Self
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Examination paper  50%
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit missed or failed 2500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Resit failed or missed exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. discuss in detail 5 canonical texts identifying teir influence upon the devlopment of literature in English.

2. identify and discuss key formal characteristics linked to the respective historical contexts.

3. analyse the representation of self and place in relation to narrative technique, genre, context.

4. understand the ways in which contemporary theoretical concepts can be applied to texts from the pre-1800 period.

5. devise and demonstrate strategies for constructing analytical arguments focusing on long texts.


  • To provide students with knowledge and understanding of five key texts from the English canon.
  • To augment students' engagement with texts studied elsewhere on their course that appropriate, reference and reflect these texts.
  • To enable students to demonstrate knowledge of key texts that future employers might expect an English / English & Creative Writing graduate to have encountered.

Brief description

The module looks at 5 texts that are key to the development of literature in English and that feed into other modules that study texts influenced by these literary precursors. The module is designed to give students the time and space in which to study these difficult texts in detail, paying attention to context, genre, close reading and thematic connections. It is distinct from other modules in that the number of texts studied is approximately half of the usual load, giving students more time to read adjacent texts that would usually be excluded from the curriculum due to length. The module focuses on the representation of self and place as a thread that draws these texts together. The module will enable students to position each text as a cultural/historical snapshot in ongoing narratives of literary constructions of identity.


Week 1
Lecture 1: Module introduction, aims, objective and themes
Seminar 1: Module introduction - strategies for reading long texts

Week 2
Lecture 2: Reading Milton's Paradise Lost
Seminar 2: Place & character in Paradise Lost

Week 3
Lecture 3: The English Epic and John Milton
Seminar 3: Form and structure in Paradise Lost

Week 4
Lecture 4: The Early Englsh Novel and Daniel Defoe
Seminar 4: Narrative strategies in Robinson Crusoe

Week 5
Lecture 5: Crusoe in contexts: colonialism, identity and politics
Seminar 5: Ways of reading Crusoe's colonial endeavor

Week 6
Lecture 6: The Lyrical Self and The Prelude
Seminar 6: The Prelude as autobiography

Week 7
Lecture 7: Touring the Sublime in The Prelude
Seminar 7: Romanticism and Place in The Prelude

Week 8
Lecture 8: The realist novel
Seminar 8: Narrative strategies in Middlemarch

Week 9
Lecture 9: Narrating the provincial
Seminar 9: Place and identity in Middlemarch

Week 10
Lecture 10: From Milton to Eliot
Seminar 10: Middlemarch and module roundup

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written: By construction of critical argument in coursework essays and exams Oral: Through class discussion, small group exercises, and seminar presentations [assessed formatively, not summatively]
Improving own Learning and Performance Through reflection on feedback
Information Technology By using word-processing packages; using AberLearn Blackboard and other e-resources to research and access course documents and other materials; by submitting assignments via Turnitin
Personal Development and Career planning Through critical self-reflection and the development of transferable ICT, communication and research skills
Problem solving By evaluative analysis and the use of critical skills
Research skills By directed and independent research; by synthesizing information in an evaluative critical argument
Subject Specific Skills Through the reading, writing and researching skills involved in the interrogation of literary texts, and the conceptual/theoretical analysis of works of imaginative literature in relation to a range of other non-literary texts
Team work Through group work in seminars


This module is at CQFW Level 5