EL7053 - The World in Print

What will I learn on this module?

This module looks in depth at the ways in which literary authors contributed to the transformation in understanding of the place of humanity in the world. Technological, legal and commercial developments meant that print was more prolific in the eighteenth century than ever before. This gave authors new opportunities to explore, construct and query Empire, class, gender, and the natural world. Composed of two interconnected themes, each of which is key to the eighteenth-century world in print, and which represent the research strengths of the department, this module offers an advanced insight into the ways in which the world was mediated by print in the eighteenth century. Through analysing and juxtaposing important representative texts and associated recent critical and theoretical literature, you will consolidate and expand your knowledge of the period’s literature and develop a sophisticated understanding of the current state of the field.

The module will be comprised of two of the following four themes, depending upon staff availability. The indicative reading list for each unit is as follows, and each text has been (or if replaced, will be) carefully chosen to cover more than one theme:

1. New Worlds
Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters (written 1716-18, published 1763)
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)
Charlotte Lennox, The Life of Harriot Stuart, Written by Herself (1750)
Phillis Wheatley and Hannah More, selected poems

2. The Natural World
Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770)
Gilbert White, The Natural History of Selborne (1789)
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1816)
John Clare, Selected Poems (1820–41)

3. The Beau Monde
Eliza Haywood, The City Jilt; or, The Alderman Turn'd Beau (1726)
Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35)
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals (1775)
Frances Burney, Evelina (1778)

4. Women in the World
Laetitia Pilkington, extracts from Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington (1748)
Sarah Scott, Millennium Hall (1762)
Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798)
Anon., The Woman of Colour, A Tale (1808)

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that you are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk.

Indicative list of print history works for assignment one:
Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (1979)
Margaret J.M. Ezell, Social Authorship and the Advent of Print (2003)
Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (1998)
David McKitterick, Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 1450-1830 (2003)
The Multigraph Collective, Interacting with Print: Elements of Reading in the Era of Print Saturation (2017)

How will I learn on this module?

If you choose to study on campus delivery will be primarily via student-led seminar discussion, facilitated by a tutor. If you choose to study by distance learning you can complete the module via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), populated with on-line learning materials. Whether you are on-site or distance learning you will study the same texts and have access to the same materials. On-site students are encouraged to take part in the discussion boards by way of building a cohort with the distance learning students. The assessment for both on-site and distance learning students is the same combination of non-assessed and assessed e-tivities (on-line tasks). You will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars for on-site students and weekly reading guidance for the distance learning students, where you will be expected to contribute to discussion whether this is in the seminar or through the VLE. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module. Assessments for all students taking this module will include a portfolio of e-tivities that have two roles. First, e-tivities will include non-assessed assessments that ensure the student has the technological capacity in terms of hardware and digital literacy to complete the module. Second, the e-tivities will include the assessed assessments that test the student’s aptitude in relation to the learning outcomes.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Campus-based students: By attending and participating in seminar discussions and activities, you will receive oral feedback on your ideas from your tutors, guidance on the content of the module and on the assessment tasks. Further one-to-one support from your tutors is available via advertised scheduled ‘office hours’ throughout the semester or by emailing to make an appointment or for advice. You are strongly encouraged to share your ideas for your assignments with your tutor in advance of submitting your assessed work.
Distance-learning students: By engaging and participating in the e-tivities, preparation tasks and online discussions, you will receive online feedback from tutors. You are strongly encouraged to share your ideas with your tutor before submitting assessed work. The VLE will be in every way comparable to on-site delivery. In place of seminars will be weekly reading, guidance on how to approach the materials, and follow-up discussion via engagement with on-line discussion forums. Distance learning students are provided with the same opportunity to discuss, analyse and question their understanding of the reading material via the discussion forums. In addition, distance learning students will be supported by an Associate Tutor, who will moderate (rather than facilitate) the online discussions, thereby fulfilling the same role as the seminar tutor.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• 1. You will develop a sophisticated understanding of eighteenth-century texts and their print contexts

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• 2. You will be able to employ theoretical and critical material in relation to a range of literary texts
• 3. You will have enhanced critical, analytical, and research skills
• 4. You will be able to present a cogent and independent argument in response to current critical debates

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• 5. You will have an increased awareness of cultural debates, including about race, gender, class, nationality, and the environment

How will I be assessed?

You will have three assignments.

The first is a 2,000-word essay applying of a work of print history to one of the primary texts studied on this module. You will select one monograph from a list provided, which will provide a critical overview of the print history of the eighteenth century. You will consider how it augments or limits understanding of your chosen primary text, as well as identifying any ways in which its approach or argument may be limited. This is worth 30%. You will receive written feedback. (MLO 2, 3, 4)

The second is formative (i.e. will not form part of your grade). You submit an essay plan and bibliography for your 4,000-word essay. You will exchange this with one other student, whose work you will provide feedback on and from whom you will receive feedback. Your tutor will also provide feedback on your plan and your contribution to your partner’s plan. You will receive this feedback by email. It helps you to prepare for the second essay. (MLO 2, 3)

The third is a 4,000-word essay. You will use your knowledge of theoretical, cultural, and historical contexts to present an argument that engages with the worlds constructed by eighteenth-century print. This is worth 70%. You will receive written feedback. (MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)





Module abstract

The World in Print examines how eighteenth-century print culture mediated Britons’ access to new worlds—whether distant colonies in North America and the Caribbean or the micro-climate of an English garden. The module encourages us to see the connectedness of Britain to the world through its literature by situating developments in print culture—for instance, the rise of magazines and literary reviews, the establishment of small provincial presses, or the publication of hitherto private genres of writing such as diaries and letters—as central to other major cultural shifts including women’s increasingly prominent roles in public life and the emergence of celebrity culture.

The World in Print will cover at least two of the following interconnected themes: New Worlds; The Natural World; The Beau Monde; and Women in the World. It will introduce you to current research in Eighteenth-Century Studies while also providing opportunities to explore methodologies and perspectives used across the Humanities (e.g. ecocriticism and the environmental humanities, colonial and postcolonial studies, feminist criticism and theory, history of the book and material culture). Eighteenth-Century Collections Online—a database of books, pamphlets, and broadsides containing over 180,000 titles amounting to over 32 million fully-searchable pages—will bring the world of eighteenth-century print culture alive, allowing you to study facsimile editions of works held in only a handful of libraries. The module is offered on campus and through distance learning. In both formats, you will engage in directed and independent learning as you hone your critical, analytical, and research skills.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time by distance learning
3 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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