Topics in Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Culture

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
ENGL 3130
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course surveys a selection of nineteenth-century British literary texts, chosen to highlight an organizing theoretical, historical, or thematic focus. Secondary readings will cover a variety of critical perspectives on nineteenth-century British literature and culture.
Course Content

All third-year English courses share the following features:

  1. Students are presumed to have had first-year level instruction and experience in writing critical essays on literary subjects.
  2. Students are required to read in the course subject area beyond the texts assigned by the instructor.
  3. Students are required to incorporate into their oral and written coursework secondary source materials, which may include biographical information, literary criticism or theory, unassigned texts by the author under study, relevant cultural or intellectual history, or other aesthetic works such as music or visual art.

Readings and topics vary with each instructor’s presentation of a course, but all course materials are consistent with stated objectives and learning outcomes. 

Additionally, in English 3130

  1. students will read a selection of nineteenth-century texts, as well as theoretical/critical material relevant to the particular theme or focus;
  2. areas of concentration and course content will vary with the instructor; these may include, for instance, changes in poetic/narrative techniques and style during the century, or the development and revision of literary themes during a particular period;
  3. the texts chosen will be predominantly literary, but may include other artistic genres such as film, music, and visual art.
Methods Of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. lecture/discussion;
  2. group work;
  3. peer review;
  4. independent research;
  5. instructor feedback on students’ work;
  6. individual consultation; and
  7. presentation (individual or group).
Means of Assessment
  1. A minimum of two academic essays and a final exam worth at least 80% of the course grade (combined total).
  2. A maximum of 20% of the course grade may be based on informal writing (quizzes, short answer tests); oral reports/presentations; participation/preparation grades; and/or other non writing-intensive assignments.
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of any third-year English literature course, students should be able to

  1. read and analyze literary texts with increased skill and insight;
  2. integrate their understanding of literature into an evolving awareness of relevant cultural and historical contexts and perspectives;
  3. perceive connections among literary texts across genres, historical periods, and/or cultural contexts;
  4. conduct independent research to supplement the course material and integrate this information into course assignments; and
  5. write different kinds of literary analyses, such as thematic, technical, or theoretical.

Upon completion of English 3130, students should also have developed an appreciation and understanding of

  1. the historical and aesthetic development of British literature and culture during the nineteenth century;
  2. the social, political, cultural or historical conditions out of which the literature of the period emerges, and to which it responds;
  3. the range of themes and issues reflected in nineteenth-century writing; such issues might include, for instance, the impact of the French and American revolutions; the industrial revolution; expanded education; religious and scientific developments; shifting definitions of gender.
Textbook Materials

Texts will vary, with authors and genres selected by the instructor, and may include shorter readings compiled in custom course packs.

Instructors may create their syllabi from a relevant anthology (such as The Longman Anthology of British Literature [2B or 2C] or The Broadview Anthology of British Literature [Vol. 4 or 5]) and two to four novels from the period.

The examples below illustrate two possible versions of the course:

  1. Nineteenth-Century Sensations: Emotion, Sublimity, and Literary Fame
    • The Broadview Anthology of British Literature (featuring poetry by Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Joanna Baillie, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Lord Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Swinburne)
    • Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquiry into Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful.
    • Lewis, Matthew Gregory. The Monk.
    • Polidori, John. The Vampyre.
    • Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White.
    • Machan, Arthur. The Three Imposters.
  2. Wild Britons: Humanity, Domesticity, and Otherness in Nineteenth-Century Literature
    • The Longman Anthology of British Literature (featuring poetry and prose by Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Thomas DeQuincy, Charles Darwin, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lord Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy)
    • Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein.
    • Equiano, Olaudah, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself.
    • Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.
    • Wells, H.G. The Island of Doctor Moreau.



Any TWO university-transfer first-year English literature courses, or ONE university-transfer first-year English literature course and ONE university-transfer first-year Creative Writing or English writing course, AND a minimum of 45 credit hours.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENGL 330 (3) 2014/01/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ENGL 3XXX (3) 2014/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO ENGL 3rd (3) 2014/01/01 to 2021/04/30
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV ENGL 2nd (3) 2014/01/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGL 384 (3) 2014/01/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENGL 385 (1.5) 2014/01/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.