Neovictorianism ENGLIT5021

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course focuses on the afterlife of Victorian literature and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by exploring issues of appropriation, adaptation and commodification. Students will be able to trace literary engagement with the Victorian novel (and other genres) from postmodernist and feminist reworkings in the 1960s and 1970s, to queer rewritings in the early twenty-first century and the current vogue for detective fiction, romance novels and fantasy fiction set in Victorian times. 


10 weekly 2 hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





One essay of 4,000 words (80%);

One presentation of 20 minutes (20%).

Course Aims

This course aims to:

- broaden students' knowledge of the impact of Victorian literature and culture on the late twentieth and twenty-first century.
- introduce students to competing theories of postmodernity, particularly in relation to appropriation, pastiche and parody.

reinforce students' involvement in interdisciplinary study, and to

- encourage students to engage critically with popular fiction and other forms of media (e.g. film, graphic novels)
- enhance students' awareness of changing constructions of Victorian literature and culture over time, and hence to lead them to interrogate their own conceptions of the period.

- encourage independent research into a rapidly developing field, in particular through using electronic resources.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Reflect critically upon theoretical models for the interpretation of Victorian literature.

Identify and analyse a wide variety of twentieth and twentieth-century reworkings of Victorian texts.
Explain critical developments in the study of Victorian literature and history, and judge the impact of these developments on changing attitudes towards the Victorian period.
Evaluate the trajectory of 'neovictorianism' from the 1960s to the present day, and assess the relation of neovictorian texts to their historical and cultural contexts.
- Pursue independent interdisciplinary research, including using critical tools to analyse non-literary sources (e.g. graphic novels and other artworks, fashion, cinema).

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.