Reinventions (TRU1104)

StaffDr Kate Hext - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Pre-requisitesNone. Applications to take this module by students from outside the Penryn Humanities department will be assessed by the module convener and the Director of Education (Penryn Humanities) on a case-by-case basis
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to cultivate modes of reading and critical analysis of literature broadly informed by an attention to history and context. Its focus on literature from the eighteenth century to the present day, and on questions of intertextuality and influence, will complement the focus of the Foundations (TRU1101) module that many of you will have taken in Term 1. During the course of this module, you will consider ideas of subjectivity, identity, conflict, community, myth, the transmission of stories, female artistic labour, literary tradition and influence. Through addressing such topics, the module will also introduce you to key debates central to the study of literature, enabling you to become familiar with critical methodologies and terminology that will prepare you for second-year core courses and third-year options.

You will be expected to participate in class discussion during seminars, and to undertake study group tasks in order to prepare for these sessions, which will enable you to practice communicating information effectively and working as a member of a team. Together with the organizational and written communication skills that you will acquire through engaging in essay-writing assignments for the module, these skills are fundamental to the study of English literature. They are also skills that are essential in the workplace, and so the module’s activities will enhance your employability. By the end of the module, you will have acquired a substantial body of information about the history of English literature and its place in western culture and will be able to potentially put that knowledge to practical use when pursuing future careers in (for instance) the communication, creative, arts, education, and media sectors.

Note: Penalties will be applied for non-submission of the formative assessment on this module. Please see the College of Humanities Taught Handbook for more information.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate an informed appreciation of specific texts, written from the eighteenth century to the present time.
  • 2. demonstrate a knowledge of the development of English literary history.
  • 3. demonstrate a capacity to identify and analyse inter-relationships between texts.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. demonstrate a basic ability to analyse the literature of an earlier era and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical context.
  • 5. demonstrate a basic ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history.
  • 6. demonstrate a basic ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Through seminar work and the group presentation, demonstrate basic communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups.
  • 8. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, to demonstrate a basic capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose at a level appropriate to a foundational degree year.
  • 9. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate basic proficiency in information retrieval and analysis.

Syllabus plan

Week 1 - The Romantics (I): Wordsworth and Coleridge, selected works

Week 2 – The Romantics (II): Keats and Landon, selected works

Week 3 – The Gothic: Shelley, Frankenstein

Week 4 – Romance and Realism: Brontë, Jane Eyre

Week 5 – Victorian Poets: Arnold, ‘The Scholar Gipsy’; Rossetti, ‘Goblin Market’; Hopkins, selected verse

Week 6 – Literature and Science: Wells, The Time Machine

Week 7 – Modernism: Eliot, The Waste Land

Week 8 – Intermodernism: Du Maurier, Rebecca

Week 9 – Post-War Literature: Churchill, Top Girls; Larkin and Raine, selected works

Week 10 – Global Literature: Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Week 11 – Materialism: Crace, Being Dead

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22 hoursLectures (22 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22 hoursSeminars (11 x 2-hour seminar): you will need to prepare for each seminar and to complete additional tasks as set by the tutor.
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities11 hoursWorkshops (11 x 1-hour workshop): you will need to prepare for the workshops and to complete additional tasks as set by the tutor
Guided independent study11 hoursStudy-group meetings (11 x 1-hour meetings): independent student discussion of set study questions in assigned study groups
Guided independent study234 hoursIndependent preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading, completion of assessment tasks, etc.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1,500 words1,2,3,5,6,8,9Written comments
Oral Presentation5-10 minutes1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,Verbal feedback in booked office hour, based on tutor notes

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay502,000 words1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9Coversheet (written)
Exam ('unseen' paper) 1hour501 hour1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9Coversheet (written)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 2,000 wordsEssay 2,000 words1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9Referral/deferral period
Exam ('unseen' paper) 1hourExam ('unseen' paper) 1 hour1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Alternative arrangements for the formative presentation assignment:

If a student cannot complete the presentation before the end of term due to illness or other relevant mitigating circumstances, a summary of its content plus PowerPoint slides/a written handout/equivalent must be emailed to the seminar leader.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic Reading: Core Texts (you should purchase and read these works before the start of term):

• The Norton Anthology of English Literature, ed. M.H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt et. al., 9th edition (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 2012), Volume 2 or Volumes D, E and F, in which will be found:

Wordsworth, selected poems;

­Coleridge, selected poems;

Keats, selected poems;

Landon, selected poems;

Hopkins, ‘The Windhover’;

Tennyson, 'The Lady of Shalot'

Browning, 'My Last Duchess'

Rossetti, ‘Goblin Market’

Eliot, The Waste Land;

Larkin, selected poems;

Raine, selected poems.

• Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, ed. Richard Dunn, 3rd edition (Norton, 2001)

• Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (Virago, 2003)

• Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, ed. J. Paul Hunter (Norton, 2012)

• H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, ed. Marina Warner (Penguin, 2005)

• Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (Vintage Contemporary Classics, 1996; 2007)

• Hilary Mantel, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (Fourth Estate, 2015)

Note: Dates of modern editions may vary.

The Norton Anthology will also be used for other English modules. The Norton Critical Editions also contain substantial critical materials.

Any other works set on this module will be provided as scanned PDFs through the module ELE page.

Recommended Secondary Reading (indicative): You need not purchase these texts, but please read them during the course of the module. 

• Lucy Newlyn, Coleridge, Wordsworth and the Language of Allusion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

• Susan J. Wolfson, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Keats (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)

• Esther Schor, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

• Heather Glen, Charlotte BronteÌ�: The Imagination in History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

• Isobel Armstrong, Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics and Politics (London: Routledge, 1996)

• Simon J. James, Maps of Utopia: H.G. Wells, Modernity, and the End of Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

• Jason Harding, T. S. Eliot in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

• Kristin Bluemel, Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009)

• Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, The Cambridge Introduction to Margaret Atwood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

• Richard Bradford, The Novel Now: Contemporary British Fiction (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages Web based and electronic resources:

Defining Gender


Project Muse

19th-Century UK Periodicals British Periodicals,

Collections I and II

The ELE site for this module contains extensive resources including full-text articles, additional website links, and a digitised module reading list with links to the University of Exeter library’s e-book holdings and catalogue of resources.


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other resources:

• Cary Joji Fukunaga, dir., Jane Eyre (2011), starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender [DVD]

• Alfred Hitchcock, dir., Rebecca (1940), starring Laurence Olivier and J oan Fontaine [DVD]

• Jed Mercurio, dir., Frankenstein (2007), starring Helen McCrory and James Purefoy [DVD]

• Susanna White, dir., Jane Eyre (2006), starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens [DVD: 4 parts]

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Literature, style, genre, Romantic, Victorian, Gothic, Modernism, contemporary, poetry, novel