Romanticism and Revolution ENGLIT4105

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will address the influence of the social and intellectual ferment of the American and French revolutions on a wide variety of British poetry, song, fiction and prose writing, as well as visual culture, in the period 1780-1805. Students will be introduced to the revolutionary context of the rise of British Romanticism, and reflect on the relations between literary and cultural texts and contemporary historical events. The course will take a 'four nations' approach to the literature of the period, examining the distinct literary responses to revolution in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in relation to discourses of class, gender and identity in both primary and secondary texts.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

1 x 5hr research trip TBA.


This is one of the Honours options in English Literature and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours English Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4039  Romanticism and Revolution


Essay (2000 words): 35%

Essay (3000 words): 50%

Seminar presentation of 7 minutes: 15%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ analyse a wide variety of literary texts and visual representations influenced by and addressing the American and French Revolutions, in relation to the emergence of British and Irish Romanticism

■ engage critically with some of the major themes in the poetry, fiction, and non-fictional prose of the period 1780-1805 in relation to aesthetics, language, historical change, national identity, race and gender, and acquire a thorough knowledge of the rich field of secondary scholarship on these topics

■ develop skills of literary analysis, critical judgement and historical insight by means of close-reading, interpretation, persuasive writing, debate and oral presentation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ articulate and communicate their understanding of the emergence and development of British and Irish Romanticism in relation to the world-changing events of the American and French Revolutions in the period 1780-1805, and the accompanying secondary literature

■ analyse and evaluate key critical terms such as 'the sublime', 'sensibility', 'Gothic', 'imagination', 'revolution', 'jacobin' etc. and deploy an informed vocabulary for examining Romantic literature

■ apply arguments across disciplinary boundaries, especially those relating to historical studies, historical geography, and visual culture

■ identify and articulate independent research questions, in a selection of essay and presentation topics.

■ communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument

■ develop and reflect on (via formative assessment) skills in using online research and learning resources as well as bibliographic skills in using library facilities.

■ demonstrate resilience and time management through effectively planning, undertaking and submitting coursework.

■ deal with change and new challenges by applying their disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.