Popular Literary Enlightenment, 1710 - 1790 SCOTLIT4027

  • 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 examines widely-circulated Scottish Literature of the eighteenth century (incorporating cheaply-produced literature such as periodicals, pamphlets, chapbooks and broadsides); the motivations for its production; the networks through which it was circulated; and its significance in the wider context of the Scottish Enlightenment.


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in Scottish Literature and may not run every year. The options being offered this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Scottish Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University 's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Examination (90 minute duration) - 40%

Essay (2500 words) - 40%

Set exercise [blogging exercise on the course Moodle 1000 words] - 20%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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 aims to: 


■ develop an advanced awareness of the major authors, themes and literary networks of the period;

■ analyse the prose, poetry and song of major authors in the contexts of the eighteenth-century popular press, social and intellectual networks, and the Scottish Enlightenment;

■ engage with diverse literary materials and genres to understand motivations for the production and circulation of popular literature in eighteenth-century Scotland;

■ discuss at an advanced level the concept of 'popular literary enlightenment', as considered throughout the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ critically examine texts by a series of authors traversing different literary genres;

■ discuss general distinctions between 'popular' and 'official' literature;

■ comment on different genres of popular literature produced in eighteenth-century Scotland;

■ describe literary and social networks of eighteenth-century Scotland and explain their contribution to popular literary culture;

■ analyse the significance of literary networks and popular literature in the wider context of the Scottish Enlightenment.

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.