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

Undergraduate Course: Literary Geography, 1800-1840 (ENLI10425)

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 examines issues of space and place in early nineteenth-century literature. Zooming in and out between Scotland, Edinburgh and the wider world, we will think geographically about the evolution of literary culture during a crucial moment for the history of globalisation ' one that also saw a renewed interest in the local and the national. We will explore a wide range of forms and genres including poetry, memoir, short stories, travel writing, drama, the novel and magazine journalism, paying close attention to what was popular in the period, how and in what forms it was encountered.
Course description The early decades of the nineteenth century first saw the emergence of an international mass market for anglophone literature, one in which Walter Scott, Blackwood's Magazine and the Edinburgh publishing milieu was in the ascendancy. This was a period of migration and mobility in which Britain at large was an increasingly globalised imperial power. Yet it was also a critical moment for what the anthropologist Clifford Geertz calls 'thick description', a close attention to localised cultures, and it saw a flare-up of interest in the literary potential of such specificity across and beyond Scotland.

This course surveys a network of local, regional and (trans)national geographies at work in early nineteenth-century literature. It encourages students to think about how texts mobilise space and place to make meaning, but also the geographical and historical limits shaping the experience of literary culture.

Moving across a series of literary forms and genres with their own distinctive geographical qualities, the course combines the study of traditional (for example, poetry) and untraditional (for example, an issue of a magazine) 'literary' matter. In doing so, it draws attention to the materiality of the printed text and the lived reality of reading experiences in this historical period.

Following an introductory week, the course is divided broadly into three parts: an opening third in which each week digs into a Scottish place that was being reimagined in the period (for example, the Borders, the Trossachs and Edinburgh); a middle third that looks further afield to milieux such as London, the Mediterranean and Caribbean; and a final third that focuses on a series of important literary contexts, such as the tour, the stage and the library.

Each week pairs up the essential primary and secondary reading with an optional, complementary online resource that will flesh out the themes from a multimedia and interdisciplinary perspective.

Approximately two of the ten weekly seminars will be delivered in the Centre for Research Collections, where students will have a chance to inspect early editions of course texts. They will also be shown archival library borrowing records as a way to bring historical reading experiences to life.
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 For students who took First Year courses prior to session 2021-22, a pass in English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) or Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) is an acceptable equivalent.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework Essay (30% weighting): 2,000 words
Final Essay (70% weighting): 3,000 words
Feedback Students will be given weekly oral feedback in the seminar on their ALG tasks. They will receive written feedback on their coursework essay and final essays.

They will be encouraged to seek any necessary clarification or additional feedback in office hours or over email.

Feedback on the assessed essays will be provided within three weeks of the submission deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically examine Scottish and British literature between 1800 and 1840 from a geographical perspective
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of major developments in early nineteenth-century anglophone literary culture in their historical and media contexts
  3. Develop comparative readings of the role of space and place in literary texts with reference to specific forms and genres
  4. Evaluate critical approaches in existing scholarship and bring them to bear on the field of early nineteenth-century writing
  5. Employ independent study skills in executing written research projects, including close reading and scholarly referencing
Reading List
Charlotte Smith, Beachy Head (1807)

James Hogg, 'Love Adventures of Mr Geordie Cochrane' (1820), 'The Barber of Duncow'(1831), 'The Cameronian Preacher's Tale'(1828), 'Emigration' (1833)

Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake (1810)

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, June 1820

Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821).

Lord Byron, The Corsair (1814)

Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince (1831)

John Galt, Bogle Corbet (1831)

Dorothy Wordsworth, Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland, A. D. 1803 (1874)

Joanna Baillie, The Family Legend (1810)

Susan Ferrier, Marriage (1818)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Problem solving and research, with a capacity to understand and assess evidence from multiple sources to make reasoned judgements

Personal and intellectual autonomy in managing research projects including determining lines of enquiry and engaging in time management

Effective teamwork branching from ALG collaboration into seminar small groups

Skilled communication in weekly seminar discussions as well as in written form
KeywordsNineteenth century,Scottish Literature,Geography,space and place,region,nation,empire,book h
Course organiserDr Gerard McKeever
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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