ENG32100 Fin-de-Siecle

Academic Year 2023/2024

This course will offer an introduction to literature, culture, and society in Britain at the end of the nineteenth century. Some critics view this as a period of cultural crisis, of the break-up of the Victorian order; others point to the considerable degree of continuity between the Victorian and the twentieth century. In this course we will study a variety of cultural forms in relation to contemporary issues and consider the exact nature of the fin-de-siècle ‘crisis.’ Topics to be covered will include Aestheticism and Decadence; the 'New Woman'; the 'New Imperialism'; and Degeneration. Authors will include such figures as Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, H. Rider Haggard, Vernon Lee, Alice Meynell, the "New Woman" writers, H.G. Wells, and George Bernard Shaw.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

● Demonstrate fluent, academic, written communication
● Produce comprehensive and relevant individual research
● Demonstrate in depth, rich understanding of fin-de-siècle literature
● Demonstrate familiarity with key concepts of this period

Indicative Module Content:

The Aesthetic movement
The "New Woman" writers
The "New Imperialism"
The "Scientific Romance"
The influence of Ibsen on drama

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Participatory Seminars
Group research projects
In-class presentations
Developing and shaping a final essay 
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
Essay: Final essay of 3000 words. Essay plan to be submitted, and feedback to be incorporated. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Continuous Assessment: Mid-term assignment.
Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


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

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided on midterms. Essay plans are to be submitted by week 8, and feedback will be provided at that point.

The longer texts for this course will be:

Ella Hepworth Dixon, The Story of a Modern Woman
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
G.B. Shaw, Mrs Warren's Profession.

We will also look at "New Woman" short stories, and a range of poetry by the Rhymers, "Hearties", and others.
Name Role
Professor Fionnuala Dillane Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr John Matthews Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Thurs 09:00 - 10:50