Global Victorians - ENGL8450

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) Lara Eliza Atkin checkmark-circle


This module will introduce you to a variety of theoretical frameworks for reading Victorian literature as 'world literature': that is, the product of global circuits of knowledge and commodity exchange, as well as cross-cultural encounters. The first half of the module moves from an examination of the global dimensions of canonical nineteenth-century novelists such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens alongside writers from the ‘Black Atlantic’ such as Mary Prince and Mary Seacole to an examination of how the expansion of the ‘settler empire’ produced new forms of writing by colonial emigrants that explored the experience of settlement and sought to represent the Indigenous communities colonists encountered to British reading publics. The module then moves to an interdisciplinary consideration of the role anthropological writings played in shaping discourses of race, and how colonial and Indigenous travellers to Britain ‘wrote back’ in various ways against these discourses.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 280
Total Study Hours: 300


Optional to the following courses:
MA Postcolonial Studies;
MA English and American Literature

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
5,000-word essay

Reassessment methods
Like for like

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of key genres, themes and formal strategies through which British and colonial writers responded to the expansion of the British Empire;
2. Demonstrate a sophisticated and historicised understanding of the ways in which imperialism and colonialism affected discourses on race, class and the nation within Victorian Britain;
3. Engage with current critical debates about the value of critical frameworks such as 'world system theory', 'settler colonial studies' and 'postcolonial theory' for deepening our understanding of Victorian literature as world literature;
4. Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of nineteenth-century literature beyond canonical writers, and enhance their skills in analysing a diverse range of texts including plays, poetry, travel writing, autobiography and anthropological writings.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate the ability to synthesise complex information with precision and subtlety;
2. Demonstrate the ability to comprehend, analyse, and interrogate a variety of texts and assess the value of diverse critical approaches and ideas;
3. Demonstrate the capacity to mount complex arguments lucidly and persuasively in both spoken and written contexts;
4. Demonstrate the ability to situate their own arguments in relation to complex critical debates, and to articulate the implications of their own intellectual positions;
5. Demonstrate their capacity to carry out independent research.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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