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

Undergraduate Course: Charles Dickens (ENLI10255)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course involves a close and concentrated reading of a selection of Dickens's writing spanning his career. It looks at the ways in which Dickens's understanding of the novel form developed, moving from the energetic sentimentalism of the early work to the much more controlled and sophisticated layering of a book like Great Expectations.
Course description The course is designed to explore questions of narratology, and will engage with both recent and influential accounts of Dickens's formal experimentation (J. Hillis Miller, D. A. Miller, Peter Brooks, for example). We'll discuss the extent to which Dickens has become the definitive Victorian novelist, and consider the ways in which his writing might also point towards later, post-Victorian developments in the novel. The course also examines aspects of the material and social culture in and about which Dickens writes, including the impact of serial publication on ideas of authorship, the pervasiveness of ideologies of domesticity in his work, his response to the United States, and the tension in his writing between social radicalism and forms of political conservatism. Students will be able to concentrate intensively on an author whose centrality to Victorian culture and to histories of the novel as a mode of textual practice allows for a wide range of critical and theoretical approaches.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) AND Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023)) OR ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One course essay of 2,000 words (30%);

One final essay of 3,000 words (70%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. - demonstrate a good knowledge of the writing career of Charles Dickens;
  2. - show an awareness of issues of narrative style and narrative theory as they pertain to his work;
  3. - demonstrate a familiarity with a variety of the historical and contextual contexts that inform Dickens's prose;
  4. - assess the impact of Dickens's writing in his own cultural moment and in a post-Victorian age
Reading List
Primary texts:
Oliver Twist (1837-9)
American Notes (1842)
David Copperfield (1849-50)
Bleak House (1852-3)
Hard Times (1854)
A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
Great Expectations (1860-1)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited and students taking degrees not involving English or Scottish literature need the written approval of the head of English Literature.
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar: 2 hours per week for 10 weeks;
plus attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour each week - at time to be arranged.
KeywordsENLI Charles Dickens
Course organiserDr Jonathan Wild
Tel: (0131 6)51 3191
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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