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Henry James - ENG00022H

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Victoria Coulson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module offers an opportunity to develop a critical and creative relationship with the fiction of Henry James (1843-1916), arguably the greatest Anglo-American novelist of the nineteenth and early twentieth century and unquestionably an unparalleled resource for thinking about the texture of human experience in all its complexity, richness and difficulty.

We will read in depth a compact selection of James's novels, short stories, and critical essays, attending closely to the play of language, the dynamics of feelings and the structures of ideas that together comprise James's challenging and intensely rewarding creative idiom. Topics that we are very likely to discuss include hetero-, homo-, and bisexuality; queerness; cis- and transgender subjectivities; European art history, architecture, and nineteenth-century interior design; cookery; psychoanalysis.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

The aim of this module is to study in depth the writing of Henry James, with an emphasis on his fiction.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with Henry James’s writing;

  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with historical and theoretical scholarship relevant to the study of James’s writing;

  3. Evaluate, and position yourself in relation to, key debates within the relevant critical fields dealing with Henry James’s writing;

  4. Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

You will be given the opportunity to submit a 1000-word formative essay for the module, which can feed into the 3000-word summative essay submitted at the end of the module.

Your essay will be annotated and returned to you by your tutor within two weeks.

You will submit your summative essay via the VLE during the revision and assessment weeks at the end of the teaching semester (weeks 13-15). Feedback on your summative essay will be uploaded to e:Vision to meet the University’s marking deadlines.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours

For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

  • The Europeans
  • The Princess Casamassima
  • The Spoils of Poynton
  • The Golden Bowl

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.