Universität Wien FIND

124220 SE Cultural and Media Studies Seminar (2020W)

Victorian Materialities

11.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 18 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Due to the ongoing public health situation, this course will be taught online.

NB: There will be no class on 18th November.

Mittwoch 07.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 14.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 21.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 28.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 04.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 11.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 25.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 02.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 09.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 16.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 13.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 20.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Mittwoch 27.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

The Victorians are said to have been fascinated by things: they invented window shopping as a leisure activity, they collected bric-a-brac on their mantelpieces, and they displayed objects, often shipped from colonies, at in galleries and museums. The reasons for this preoccupation with materiality are manifold. The nineteenth century did not only see the heyday of the British colonial expansion but also the advent of mass production and the rise of the consumer society. Formerly reserved for the elite, commodities such as silk and print publications became widely available for the aspirational middle class and partly for the working class. The flipside of the material opulence, it appears, are the squalid living and work conditions of the poor, industrial pollution, and the exploitation of the natural resources in GB and the colonies.

In this seminar, we will investigate the Victorians' complex and sometimes uneasy relationship with materiality as reflected in different media. Besides investigating the meanings of things in the context of property and consumption, we might also look into the scientific and technological developments (e.g. Darwin's theory of evolution) enabling new relationships with materiality and destabilizing the dichotomy between the human and non-human matter, between subject and object: When do people appear thing-like or inanimate and when are objects attributed with agency and aliveness? Apart from literary texts published in different formats (periodicals, novels, poems), we will have a look at photography, pamphlets, and advertisements.

Aimed at MA students and advanced BA students, the objective of this course is to develop students' theoretical and methodological competences in order to conduct independent academic work. Furthermore, the course is intended to develop the students' ability to present the results of their research in oral and written form.

CMS SE (Theorising) Victorian Materialities is a digital learning course with synchronous and asynchronous elements. Methods include group discussions, designing a learning pathway for your peers, group and independent work, presentations.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Regular attendance; regular preparation of assigned reading material; active participation in class; active as specialist/in specialist team for one lesson per term (expert session); group work and group presentation; one background task; final paper.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Update of 13/01/21:
Because of the current situation, uploading the seminar/BA paper on Moodle is sufficient - no need for paper copies. Deadline for those not needing early grades is 15 February 2021.

No more than two lessons may be missed without certified medical reason. If a doctor's note is produced, a third lesson may be missed, but is to be compensated for at the teacher's discretion. If more than three lessons are missed, this results in failing the course.

Active participation: 10%
Expert session: 10%
Group presentation: 20 %
Specialist research task: 20%
Term paper: 40%

Marks in %:
1 (very good): 90-100%
2 (good): 80-89%
3 (satisfactory): 70-79%
4 (pass): 60-69%
5 (fail): 0-59%

Points must be collected in all of these areas to pass. The benchmark for passing this course is at 60%.

The term paper/BA thesis will be marked according to the following categories: argumentation; use of primary and secondary sources; methodology; quality of thesis; language; form; style.

The term paper/BA thesis has to be 1) handed in as a hard copy (please do not use any plastic folders, just staple/bind!) and 2) uploaded on Moodle as a .doc file to be checked for plagiarism using Turnitin. The deadline is 28th January 2021. If you need the grade early enough to subscribe for the courses next semester, talk to the convenor at the beginning of the course.

The written work itself is: 6,500-8,000 words for a term paper; 8,500-10,000 words for a BA thesis. It has to be accompanied by a signed and dated anti-plagiarism statement.


There will be no written exam. - Participants are expected to study set materials and additional secondary/theoretical sources, take active part in the discussions, and hand in assignments on time.


Primary Literature:
Required texts will be provided in digital form on Moodle.

Secondary Literature:
Required texts will be provided in digital form on Moodle.

Background reading:
Some basic knowledge about the nineteenth century as well as about the study of material culture and the material turn in the humanities would be very much appreciated. Some basics about the Victorian era can be found in various companions and readers.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Studium: UF 344, BA 612, MA 844; MA 844(2)
Code/Modul: UF 4.2.4-322; BA 09.2; MA6, MA7; MA 844(2) 4.1, 4.2
Lehrinhalt: 12-0405

Letzte Änderung: Fr 12.05.2023 00:16