ENG20790 Global 19th C. Literature

Academic Year 2024/2025

This course is an introduction to nineteenth-century literary production in English. We will study texts from Victorian Britain, but also from the United States, imperial India, and settler colonies such as Australia and New Zealand. Secondary reading will highlight some of the forces that shape globalization in this period, and significant shifts in the politics of race and representation.

We will discuss a range of cultural forms (fiction, memoirs, poetry, drama), and consider a diverse range of voices in examining such issues as extractivism and empire, circum-Atlantic culture, gender, urbanisation, and class conflicts.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete the course should:

Develop a strong sense of the range of Anglophone literary production in this period, and the context in which it appeared

Be able to write critically about a variety of cultural forms from the 19thc.

Have an enhanced understanding of the politics of representation, empire, and globalization in this period.

Indicative Module Content:

Primary Texts will likely include:
Excerpts from Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince (1831)
Charlotte Brontë, Villette (1853)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1860-61)
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)
Dion Boucicault’s The Octoroon (1859)
Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Mark of the Beast’ (1890)
Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, ‘Sultana's Dream’ (1905).
Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories (1922)

Indicative Secondary Texts:
Christopher Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World 1780–1914. Global Connections and Comparisons (Oxford, 2004)
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe. Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2000)
Caroline Elkins, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire (Bodley Head, 2022)
Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (Chatto and Windus, 1993)
Ida Blom, Karen Hagemann and Catherine Hall, Gendered Nations. Nationalisms and Gender Order in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford, 2000)

Online Resources:
Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at UCL
The Keele Decolonising the Curriculum Network

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures and associated small-group teaching.
Critical written assignment 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Ailise Bulfin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sarah Comyn Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Fionnuala Dillane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Maria Stuart Lecturer / Co-Lecturer