HI5036 - On Her Own Account: Being an Independent Woman in Britain, 1800-1920

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What will I learn on this module?

This module gives you the opportunity to combine a critical analysis of the existing historiography with your own research to challenge contemporary understandings of what it meant to be a woman in Britain during the ‘long’ nineteenth century. Beginning with a close examination of the legal status of married and unmarried women in Britain (noting the separate legal systems that existed for Scotland and Ireland), you will identify the opportunities that should have been available to women. You will then use sources including census returns, maps, probate records, trade directories, advertisements, court records, newspapers and BMD records to construct a series of case studies of women and places. In doing so, you will demonstrate (1) the extent to which women did exercise their political, social, economic and cultural agency; (2) how their socio-economic and marital status affected these opportunities; and (3) how these opportunities changed over the course of the period.

You will also identify the limitations that women (particularly women of colour and women of lower economic status) faced before and after 1920, and consider how these limitations have been represented by the historiography. In addition to this, you will consider more broadly how the historiography of women’s history in modern Britain has developed, and how this has shaped our understanding of the past.

How will I learn on this module?

Weekly lectures will familiarise you with core concepts in nineteenth-century women’s history and business history. Your weekly seminars will deepen your understanding of the key issues. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading, and will build on your independent reading by presenting your ideas and arguments in seminar discussions with your peers. All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will participate in formative assessment activities and receive feedback, and will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment will match your learning against the learning outcomes for the module

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your academic tutors, your peers and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through group/individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised feedback and consultation hours and via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

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. Demonstrate knowledge of key developments in the legal status of women in Britain during the period 1800-1920.
2. Display an understanding of wider social, economic and political events of the nineteenth century and the way that they affected the agency of women.
3. Demonstrate the ability to construct detailed microstudies of people and places, and how to use these to engage with wider themes of gender and economic and social change.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Display a variety of transferable skills (including the ability to summarise other people’s research, to analyse and interpret historical evidence, to communicate ideas in both written and oral form).

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate sensitivity to the use of individual biographies in the writing of history and potential implications for an understanding of women’s position in society (for instance with regard to women of colour and women of lower economic status).

How will I be assessed?

(1) 2,500-word essay [MLO 1, 2, 4] – weighted 50%
(2) 1,500-word source analysis [MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5] – weighted 30%
(3) 10 minute individual presentation [MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5] – weighted 20%

Pre-requisite(s)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

What did it mean to be a woman in Britain during the ‘long’ nineteenth century? This module allows you to answer this question, helping you identify opportunities that were or, should have been, available to women across the economic and social spectrum. You will read key scholarly works in British women’s history, but also draw on a rich array of sources, including census returns, maps, probate records, trade directories, advertisements, court records, newspapers and BMD records. By preparing a series of case studies of women and places, you will demonstrate (1) the extent to which women did exercise their political, social, economic and cultural agency; (2) how their socio-economic and marital status affected these opportunities; and (3) how these opportunities changed over the course of the period. Through a variety of activities – from researching individual biographies to giving presentations – you will develop a range of important transferrable skills.

Course info

UCAS Code QV31

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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