LANG 2039 Sexual/Textual Politics in Victorian Women's Writing

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101964

Coordinator Anne Jamison Opens in new window

Description This subject will set Victorian women's writing in its historical, intellectual, publishing and cultural contexts, with particular emphasis on the multiple genres of writing within which women engaged in the nineteenth century. Using a broad range of short fiction, this subject will investigate topics such as gender and sexuality, colonialism and empire, and race and identity. It will also explore texts from across Australia, Britain, North America and Ireland and ask students to consider how these texts are still relevant to contemporary society and intellectual thinking.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Literature

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

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Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject


Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the intellectual and historical contexts that inform a range of nineteenth-century women's texts.
  2. Analyse a range of nineteenth-century women's texts and make connections between them.
  3. Summarise and evaluate literary-critical arguments.
  4. Work effectively with other students on team tasks.
  5. Give effective oral presentations supported by digital-visual presentation tools.
  6. Work independently to organise, plan and deliver a critically-informed research essay.

Subject Content

British, Irish, North American and Australian nineteenth-century women's short fiction published during the nineteenth century.

The intellectual, cultural, critical and publishing contexts of nineteenth-century women's short fiction.

The intersections of gender, race and sexuality in women's nineteenth-century short fiction.

The multiple genres of women's short fiction in the nineteenth-century, e.g. sensation fiction, the gothic, didactic fiction.

Women's subversive engagement with key public debates of the period via the short story format.

The uncertainties of home, colonialism and empire in women's short fiction in the nineteenth century.

The relevance of women's nineteenth-century writing to contemporary society and intellectual thinking, as well as an examination of literature as a socialising force.

Representations of the changing social role of women in the nineteenth century.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Short Answer 750 words 35 N Individual
Portfolio Class participation is graded across each week of the teaching semester, and students are given 60 minutes to complete each online quiz 20 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • The subject's prescribed primary texts vary from year to year subject to availability and the expertise of the teaching team, but they are consistently drawn from British, Irish, Australian and North American women's short fiction published during the nineteenth century. The current selection for the subject comprises:
  • Maria Edgeworth, "The Limerick Gloves" (1804) Mary Shelley's "The Mortal Immortal" (1833) Elizabeth Gaskell's "The Grey Woman" (1863) Tasma's "Monsieur Caloche" (1878) Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892)
  • All prescribed readings for the subject are made available to students through the Subject Reader.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Anne Jamison Opens in new window

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Penrith (Kingswood)


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