LIT3046 : Sappho's Granddaughters; Poetry by Women 1789-1901

Convener(s): Dr Anna Barton


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

This module aims to introduce students to the work of a range of Romantic and Victorian women poets and the critical and ideological debates that surround it. Reading the work of canonical poets such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti alongside less familiar works by Dora Greenwell, Mathilde Blind and Amy Levy, students will be encouraged to engage with questions of gender and genre and to think about how women employed different poetic forms and voices to respond to the political, scientific and religious upheavals of the nineteenth century.


Teaching takes the form of a 1-hour seminar, twice a week, over eleven weeks. The seminars will be discussion led, and are used to introduce the aims and produce the outcomes of the course in detail. The remaining hours per week of study for this module are to be divided between seminar preparation (directed reading), small group work, individual research, and preparation for assessments. Following established practice on the English Literature programme, should the module recruit more than 15 students, the students would be divided into two groups. Both groups would meet together as a large group for the first meeting, and in the smaller groups for the second; Students will be required to contribute to an online discussion in advance of the weekly seminar. This will structure their preparation for each seminar and will also enable them to begin analysing texts and constructing arguments about them.


Students will give a 10-minute presentation, which will take the form of a ‘pitch’ that might be made to publishers in support of the publication of a select volume of work by a nineteenth-century woman poet. This will give them the opportunity to construct a spoken argument that demonstrates an awareness of questions of literary value and canonicity.
Students will write a 3,000-word essay that will compare the work of at least two authors they have studied. This will demonstrate their ability to carry out critical analysis of poetry within its historical/cultural context.

Contact Details

0114 222 8483

Information last changed: Thursday 17th of March 2016 :: 09:43:40 AM (GMT)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK