Module Information

Module Identifier
HY22720
Module Title
Investigating Georgian and Victorian Landscapes
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Alice J Taylor (Reader - King's College London)
  • Mr William D Jones (Reader - (Formerly Cardiff University))
  • Dr Catherine M Dossett (Senior Lecturer - University of Leeds)
  • Professor Michael P Brown (Professor - University of Aberdeen)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

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

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Short Essay  1,000 words  20%
Semester Assessment Project  4,000 word project  80%
Supplementary Assessment Short essay  1,000 words  20%
Supplementary Assessment Project  4,000 word project  80%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an understanding of various forms of Georgian and Victorian landscape, and the historical/academic literature relating to them

Demonstrate an understanding of how to read landscapes for their economic, social, political and cultural meanings

Analyze and reflect critically on the relationship between material forms of landscape and visual and literary representations

Construct cogent historical arguments relating to Georgian and Victorian landscapes.

Aims

Ever since the pioneering work of W.G. Hoskins it has become clear that understanding landscape is part of any historian's toolkit for interpreting the past. The aim of this module is to introduce students to the skills of reading landscapes, both for their empirical content and as a form of representation; both as an historical element in their own right and as source for investigating wider economic, social, political and cultural processes. Landscape is here taken to be the material environment in a broad sense, from individual buildings to large-scale assemblages of built and `natural' elements. The emphasis will be on Georgian and Victorian Britain, but the methods deployed could be applied to other countries and periods. The material environment is the focus of attention. However, a key feature of the module will be learning how to read not only physical records but also literary and visual representations of landscape, and how to investigate the relationship between all three mediums.

Brief description

This module will develop in students the skills required to undertake a critical analysis of eighteenth and nineteenth century landscapes. The introductory session will set out a variety of approaches to and sources for studying historic landscapes. The bulk of the module will explore generic types of landscape, or landscape features. However, there will also be strong emphasis on particular buildings and places. In each instance the seminar will explore, through discussion and analysis, a specific example (or examples) of the broader type. So the seminar may look in detail at house, a garden, a public building or a piece of countryside. This will act as preparation for the project in which students investigate a landscape of their choosing. Across the seminars particular themes will be regularly examined, in particular the polarities of town and country, public and private, sacred and secular, local and national, popular and elite, and human and natural. Change over time will be addressed by exploring the differences between the Georgian and Victorian eras, and there will be constant reference to the interplay between economic, social, political and cultural factors. Landscape as such is a material form but it is represented through visual forms (such as maps, paintings and photographs), and literary forms (such as guidebooks and novels). The module will examine these three types of form, and the interaction between them. Today the `historic landscape' has become a key medium for popular access of the past. The final session will address the relationship between landscape and heritage, and examine the role of Georgian and Victorian landscapes in the contemporary `heritage industry'.

Content

Weekly 2-hour seminars:

1. Introduction: Historical Landscapes
2. The Country House
3. Park and Garden
4. Rural Scenes
5. Wild Places
6. Townscapes
7. Landscapes of Pleasure and Work
8. The Seaside
9. Sacred Places and Spaces
10. Landscape and Heritage

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number NA
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. These skills will be assessed through assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given regarding the improvement of research and techniques and essay writing skills
Information Technology Through the retrieval of primary and secondary works from online resources and AberLearn Blackboard and through the writing, formatting and printing of essays.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will develop oral and written skills. It will also prepare students for careers which involve the research, critical analysis and presentation of material relevant to a particular problem or set of problems
Problem solving Students are expected to note and respond to historical problems which arise as part of the study of this subject area, and to undertake suitable research for seminars and essays.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work.
Subject Specific Skills This module will require students to analyse Georgian and Victorian landscapes, and present student with the skills necessary to read and understand the historical natural environment.
Team work Through seminar activities, including seminar leading with another student.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5