Module QXE-4042:
Revolution/Modernity 1790-1930

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Karin Koehler

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To develop an understanding of the relationship between political, cultural and aesthetic revolutions in the long nineteenth century.
  2. To enable critically informed reading of texts published between 1790 and 1930.
  3. To develop understanding of different cultural contexts and their effects on literary production.
  4. To encourage an understanding of different critical approaches to texts published between 1790 and 1830, including theories of modernity and issues of ideological transmission, textual production and authorship.

Course content

This module will explore a range of texts published between 1790 and 1930 which document revolutionary moments in political ideology, gender identity and aesthetics. Arranged around three revolutionary moments- the French revolution of 1789, the European revolutions of 1848, and the duration and aftermath of the First World War, it will examine texts that bear witness to the birth of new forms of modernity and which challenge (or sometimes reassert) dominant political, gender and aesthetic ideologies. Authors studied are likely to include, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Carlyle, Elizabeth Gaskell, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, John Mitchel, Amy Dillwyn, William Morris, Walter Greenwood, and Idris Davies.

Assessment Criteria


70% and above Typically, the work of a candidate reaching Distinction will show many of the following qualities: • Thorough knowledge and understanding of relevant theories and types of analysis. • Thorough knowledge of a range of sources and the capacity to engage these critically. • Introduction and discussion of original ideas. • Relevant, well-organised and sophisticated argument. • High ratio of analysis to exposition. • Maturity, clarity and cogency of expression. • Excellent handling of quotation and references.


50-59% A Pass (C) candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities: • A satisfactory level of knowledge, analysis and expression. • Some familiarity with, and understanding of, relevant theoretical issues. • Generally sound organisation of argument, with some critical ability. • Accurate expression. • Competent use of quotation and references.


60-69% A candidate’s work reaching Merit will show many of the following qualities: • An advanced level of factual knowledge. • Significant [substantial] knowledge of relevant theories and types of analysis. • Some evidence of original thought. • The ability to organise and argue effectively, make balanced judgements, and demonstrate critical thought. • Fluent and accurate expression. • Competent use of quotation and references

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the role of inter-cultural encounter in shaping recent and contemporary literary contexts.

  2. Demonstrate critically informed reading of texts published between 1790 and 1830.

  3. Show a sophisticated understanding of different cultural contexts and their effects on writing and text production.

  4. Critically explore theories of the relationship between textual production, ideology, modernity and aesthetic change.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Students will develop a research question, in consultation with the module convenor, and research and write a 5,000-word essay on this question.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


1 x 2-hour workshop in the library archive


11 x 2-hour seminar

Private study 276

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.
  • 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

Courses including this module