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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: The Literary Absolute: Truth, Value, Aesthetics (ENLI10205)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAfter an introduction to eighteenth and nineteenth-century constructions of mimesis, imagination and the aesthetic as "literary absolute," the course turns to the implications of the epistemic and moral disengagement of the aesthetic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The course then charts how through developing interest in notions of the unconscious, experience, expression, the sublime and power, the aesthetic is drawn into an attack upon the notion of truth. Finally, two weeks will be spent considering the location of the literary aesthetic within the context of a culture which has largely collapsed the meaning/truth distinction traditionally nurtured by philosophy, and which is disposed to view the aesthetic as a type of ideology rather than a value. Correspondingly, in the light of the review of the aesthetic's relation (both synchronic and diachronic) to truth, the central theoretical question will concern the possibility of the recovery of a sphere of autonomous literary value.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) one hour per week Autonomous Learning Group
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 coursework essay of 2,500 words (30%);

Class Participation assessment (10%);

1 take-home examination essay of 3,000 words (60%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate knowledge of and critical engagement with some of the central topics and themes in Romantic literature and critical theory.
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between these themes and the history, philosophy and culture of the periods studied.
  3. demonstrate knowledge of selected debates and concepts in the history of philosophy and critical theory.
  4. demonstrate the ability to deploy a variety of methodological approaches to the study of literature.
  5. demonstrate the ability to reflect constructively on the development of their own learning and research practice.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited, with priority given to students taking degrees involving English or Scottish Literature and Visiting Students placed by the Admissions Office. Students not in these categories need the written approval of the Head of English Literature before enrolling. In the case of excess applications places will be decided by ballot.
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar: 2 hours per week for 10 weeks; plus 1 hour a week attendance at Autonomous Learning Group - times to be arranged
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tim Milnes
Tel: (0131 6)50 3615
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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