• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English, History, Literature

The Victorian period was one of extraordinary achievement and activity in the literary field, fostered by increasing literacy rates, the expansion of circulating libraries and a proliferation of weekly periodicals, all of which served to make literature more accessible as the nineteenth century progressed. In this course we will read a variety of Victorian texts in the context of nineteenth-century anxieties and discourses about sexual transgression, gender roles, disease, madness, spiritualism, the experience of modernity and the problem of the body. We will read a range of literary forms including novels, novellas, short stories, plays and poetry, and both canonical and non-canonical texts, enabling us to understand the breadth of Victorian writers' achievement and the way that Victorian literature both participated in and emerged from debates in other cultural discourses such as medicine, psychology, sociology and philosophy. The inclusion of texts from other areas of Europe, Australia and America may provide the opportunity to test the connotations and the limits of the term "Victorian" as a lens through which to study the output of this productive period.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. analyse, discuss and write critically about the use of supernatural and gothic tropes and their significance in a range of Victorian texts;
  2. identify the work of a range of Victorian writers, both canonical and less well-known, and a range of genres including the novel, short story and poetry;
  3. position Victorian literature in relation to a range of contexts including Victorian anxieties about modernity, madness, sexual transgression and disease;
  4. identify and discuss theoretical discourses concerning class, sexuality, gender and colonialism as these illuminate a range of Victorian texts; and
  5. read carefully with attention to detail and to the ways in which texts are constructed.

Indicative Assessment

  1. (2000 word) essay (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. (2000 word) essay (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. In-class activities (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level English (ENGL) courses, or with permission of the convener. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2061 or ENGL6036.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8637 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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