Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
EN31320
Module Title
The Mark of the Beast: Animals in Literature from the 1780s to the 1920a
Academic Year
2019/2020
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Single Text Essay  1 x 2,500 word single text essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Comparative Essay  1 x 3,000 word comparative essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Failed Single Text Essay  1 x 2,500 word single text essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Failed Comparative Essay  1 x 3,000 word comparative essay  (2,500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the generic, historical, cultural and scientific contexts that shaped the texts studies on the module.

2. Engage with and evaluate theoretical and critical debates on the representation of animals in nineteenth-century literature.

3. Produce critical work that engages in close textual analysis, employs relevant critical approaches, and makes reference to contemporary contexts and sources.

4. Demonstrate enhanced skills of independent thought, research, and argument.

5. Demonstrate an ability to compare different texts on a related theme and draw wider conclusions about the role of animals in nineteenth-century literature.

Brief description

The relationship between the human and animal worlds was a significant theme in literature from the long nineteenth century. This period saw the emergence of an organised movement for animal rights and the founding of the RSPCA. It was during the nineteenth century that Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and Descent of Man (1871) challenged the idea of human beings as separate from the rest of the animal world. Many of the key themes of the nineteenth century, such as empire, gender and evolution, were explored through literature about animals. Through the study of a diverse range of literature, including children’s literature, detective fiction, love poetry and science fiction, this module will examine the ways in which literature about animals was used to explore what it means to be human.

Content

Week 1: Introduction: Selection of primary and secondary sources.

Week 2: Didactic Animals: A selection of short fables for children from Mary Wollstonecraft’s Original Stories from Real Life (1788), John Aikin and Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s Evenings at Home (1792-1796), and Margaret Gatty’s Parables of Nature (1855)

Week 3: Animal Rights: Anna Sewell, Black Beauty (1877), selected contextual material

Week 4: Poetry and Pets: Selected poetry by poets including Anne Brontë, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Matthew Arnold, Christina Rossetti, Michael Field and D.H. Lawrence

Week 5: Animal Rights and Women’s Rights: George Egerton, ‘A Shadow’s Slant’ from Keynotes (1893), Edith Wharton, ‘Kerfol’ (1916), Mary Cholmondeley, ‘The Goldfish’ from The Romance of His Life: and Other Romances (1922)

Week 6: Animals and Empire: Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Mark of the Beast’ from Life’s Handicap (1891), selected stories from The Jungle Books (1894-5)

Week 7: Demonic Animals: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

Week 8: Beast Folk: H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)

Week 9: Module Round-Up: Review of the module and preparation for assessment

Week 10: Doctor Moreau on Film: Screening and discussion of a film version of The Island of Doctor Moreau

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written communication in the form of essays, oral communication in seminar discussion.
Improving own Learning and Performance Developing own research skills, management of time, expression and use of language.
Information Technology Use of electronic resources (JSTOR, websites); use of databases of digitized newspapers and periodicals; the production of written work.
Personal Development and Career planning By critical reflection and the development of transferable communication skills.
Problem solving Formulating and developing extended arguments.
Research skills By relating literary texts to historical contexts and theoretical commentaries, and by synthesizing various persepctives in an evaluative argument.
Subject Specific Skills Detailed critical and contextual analysis of literary texts and evaluation of the theoretical concepts.
Team work Carrying out collaborative tasks within seminars.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6