EUST20010 Discourses of Freedom

Academic Year 2023/2024

Where does freedom begin? In this team-taught module on the Enlightenment and its legacies, we will examine some of the discourses of freedom that emerged on the European continent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Freedom can mean freedom of thought, and can go hand in hand with calls for religious tolerance or freedom from persecution, or for an end to the oppression of women and to the inclusion of female voices in the cultural sphere. Freedom can sometimes translate into action, with the French Revolution being one example. But alongside the hopes for freedom and the promise of equality, the Enlightenment did not prevent or reverse colonialism. Did the Enlightenment, we might ask, achieve its aims? Did it do too little or too much? In this module, we will approach the Enlightenment, its legacy and some of its controversies through examples from different languages, genre and traditions. Case studies will also show how literary and aesthetic discourse intertwine with political thought. The format for our classes will be a lecture with an accompanying tutorial each week, focusing on discussion, analysis and close readings of shorter texts or extracts from longer writings.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students will have:
engaged with a variety of primary texts; analysed key ideas introduced; shown insight into the relationship between the text and its cultural context.

Indicative Module Content:

Enlightenment discourse on individual freedom; freedom of speech and toleration in the European Enlightenment; Cosmopolitanism; Legacies of Enlightenment and their consequences for Freedom: Examples include case studies in such areas as: Colonialism and Postcolonialism (case studies) - contradictions and anomalies in the discourses of freedom; legacies and contemporary relevance of debates on freedom.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Classes will be twice-weekly, with the first class of the week normally a lecture, and the second class taking a seminar-style approach, i.e. discussion-based. Students will be expected to have read materials made available in advance on Brightspace and to have prepared any questions set in advance as homework. Reflective writing will help you to consolidate your understanding of the different topics, and one reflective writing task will be set to correspond to each teaching 'block'. These blocks, each with a different thematic perspective on the discourses of freedom, will be taught by staff members of the different language subjects of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics. 
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 In Module Component Repeat Offered
Examination: The exam will consist of two Sections. Students answer one question from Section A and one from Section B. Both carry equal weight. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Journal: Learning Journal entries. Each teaching 'block' will require you to complete a piece of reflective writing in Brightspace on a set topic. 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?

For the essay in particular, students are welcome to contact the member of the teaching team who has assessed a particular topic and request a meeting (normally in the staff member's designated office hours) to discuss their work. Please note that email cannot normally be used for feedback purposes. Feedback on the individual learning journal entries will be provided on Brightspace. Essay-writing is intended to allow you to deepen your understanding of your chosen topic and its historical context, but also to continue to develop your critical writing and analytical skills.

Name Role
Dr Pascale Baker Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Bianca Cataldi Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Mary Gallagher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer