Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Ideology and Literature (ENLI10083)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIs ideology a system of belief, a form of 'false' consciousness, or the inescapable matrix through which we are compelled to encounter 'reality'? Can poetry, plays, and novels provide a unique perspective upon the ways in which ideology operates within individuals and society, or is literature condemned to repeat the ideological reflexes that enable it to have a voice in the first place? This course will examine these questions through its reading of selected texts from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by William Wordsworth, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Bertold Brecht, and Samuel Beckett.
Course description This course will examine these questions through its reading of selected texts from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by William Wordsworth, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Bertold Brecht, and Samuel Beckett. The course will also explore theories of subjectivity, class, and the unconscious, from Marx to Zizek. Further reading will include the work of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Raymond Williams, Jerome McGann, and Terry Eagleton.

The main topics covered will be:

-- Capitalism, class, and consciousness
-- The 'Romantic Ideology'
-- Ideology and subjectivity
-- 'Structures of feeling'
-- The 'political unconscious'
-- Ideology and history
-- Modernism, form and ideology
-- The author as producer
-- Ideology and structuralism
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) 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 ( 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
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
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) 2000 word coursework essay (30%) submitted mid-semester;
plus 3000 word final essay submitted during exam period (70%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Enhance students' knowledge of the history and theories of the concept of 'ideology'.
  2. Enhance students' understanding of the relationship between ideology and literature.
  3. Extend students' knowledge of poetic, fictional and dramatic works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
  4. Enhance students' critical skills, particularly in the ideological analysis of literary texts.
  5. Enhance students' ability to communicate their ideas and engage in critical debate (orally and in written form) on the topic of ideology and literature.
Reading List
William Wordsworth, selected poems (N)
Percy Bysshe Shelley, selected poems (N)
Charlotte Bronte, The Professor (1857) (Penguin)
George Eliot, Felix Holt the Radical (1866) (Penguin)
Bertold Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1948) (Penguin)
Samuel Beckett, Endgame (1957) (Faber & Faber)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, selected texts (H)
Louis Althusser, selected texts (H)
Slavoj Zizek, 'The Spectre of Ideology (1994) (H)
Sophie Fiennes, The Pervert's Guide to Ideology (2012) (Film)

(N) Norton Anthology of English Literature, 10th ed.
(H) = Handout provided by course organiser
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited to 15, 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 2 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s). 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 secretaryMrs Vivien MacNish Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 3528
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information