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Module LXE-3103:
Wales: A European Contact Zone

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Carol Tully

Overall aims and purpose

To introduce students to a variety of travel writing about Wales in French and German from the period from 1750-1900. To allow students to engage with theoretical works on travel writing.
To foster an understanding of the perception of Wales and Welsh culture from a range of European perpectives. To analyse a variety of texts from a cultural, linguistic and theoretical perspective.

Course content

This module will introduce students to a range of travel writing about Wales in French and German. Students will also engage with a range of travel writing theories. The course will cover the period from 1750-1900. The approach will be thematic, exploring the perceptions of different types of travellers, ranging from exiles to spies, scholars to tourists. It will enable students to consider issues such as mobility, identity, the aesthetization of landscape and the socio-political implications of travel. Students will be able to engage with research-led materials from the AHRC-funded European Travellers to Wales project in order to explore a range of non-canonical texts, as well as more widely known materials.

Assessment Criteria


D- - D+In order to merit the award of credit, the student should demonstrate a basic comprehension of the material presented, and demonstrate that they can clearly differentiate between the various portions of the material.


C- - B+ Students gaining the higher grades in this course will have shown not only comprehension of the concepts and texts studied in their own right, but will also demonstrate a clear ability to contextualise them, grasping the historical context of each. They will show an ability to explore and re-evaluate critical judgements in the light of their own reading.


A- - A+ Students gaining the highest grades in this course will have thoroughly immersed themselves in promary and secondary reading, with which they will engage at a mature and incisive level. They will produce insighful nuanced analysis. They will have demonstrated a very high level of engagement with conceptual as well as factual aspects of the materials studied.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of travel writing theory

  2. Demonstrate an ability to engage critically with a range of travel writing

  3. Demonstrate an ability to analyze subject-specific material and reflect on the significance in the context of the target culture

  4. Demonstrate the ability to engage critically and in detail with key texts

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of European perceptions of Wales

  6. Demonstrate the ability to produce a sustained critical discussion of key texts and theories.

  7. Demonstrate the ability to present a critical appraisal of key texts to others

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Assignment 1

Students will be asked to choose their own topic to work up into an essay question in consultation with the module convener.


Students will be asked to present on the depiction of a location or event drawing on material from at least four travelogues.

COURSEWORK Assignment 3

Students will be asked to translate from French or German into English or Welsh an excerpt from a travelogue and to reflect critically on the issues they encountered in dealing with older material of this type.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


The course will comprise 11 x 2 hour seminar sessions

Private study

Reading key texts, both primary and secondary, preparing for class discussions, preparing assessments.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Extract and synthesise key information from written and/or spoken sources in English / Welsh and/or the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources in the target language and/or English or Welsh (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
  • Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
  • The ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints and to place these in a wider socio-cultural and/or geo-historical and political and/or socio-linguistic context and to revise and re-evaluate judgements in light of those of the course leader, certain individuals or groups studied and/or fellow students. (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.15 and 5.16)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
  • The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly both independently and/or as part of a team. (Benchmark statement 5.15).
  • The ability and willingness to engage with and appreciate other cultures and to articulate to others (in written and verbal form) the contribution that the culture has made at a regional and global level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to comprehend, critically engage with and apply relevant theoretical concepts to materials being studied. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical understanding of key topics in the sphere of modern critical, cultural and translation theory, highlighting landmark figures and offering close readings of segments of their texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas and arguments in presentations, classroom discussions and debates. (Benchmark statement 5.14, 5.16)
  • Develop reading and audio-visual comprehension skills in the target language through the study of primary sources in the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4)
  • The ability to develop and manage an independent research project in English/Welsh. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.15, 5.16)
  • Skills in the critical reading and analysis of literary and/or musical and/or filmic texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to comprehend and apply cultural idioms by studying primary and secondary materials in the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4)


Resource implications for students

Students will be provided with a dossier of materials at the beginning of the course. They will also be able to access materials via the following websites:; Other materials will be available in the library.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

TBC - Talis exhibited 'error'

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: