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ENGL6139 Jane Austen and the Heritage Industry

Module Overview

Jane Austen’s novels and life have been adapted, remixed, and translated into an ever-growing body of films, television series, books, graphic novels, YouTube channels, and even video games—a thriving media industry. She also continues to play an important role in the life of several heritage sites in Hampshire, England. This module will introduce you to the creative industries that have grown up around Jane Austen and her work. It will include critical, practical and creative elements, combining traditional seminar discussion with guest lectures, workshops, and field trips to Chawton House and the Jane Austen House Museum in the village of Chawton, and to the Georgian Spa resort of Bath. Sessions led by experts from the English and Film departments will enable you to explore Jane Austen’s afterlives in the media, thinking about issues of adaptation, translation and corporate branding. A number of guest lectures and workshops will also give you practical insight into key aspects of working in the heritage sector, from conservation and curating for the general public, to engagement with Digital Humanities tools.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Provide students with insight into, and practical experience of, library and museum work, public engagement, heritage conservation and the tourist industry around literary figures • Consider the ways in which Austen has been adapted in modern popular culture • Encourage students to work independently with unique archival resources

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Specific theoretical and cultural issues around the adaptation and translation of Jane Austen’s work
  • Aspects of the media and heritage industries around literary figures
  • Practical skills involved in the communication of academic work to public audiences
  • Issues around curation and conservation in the heritage sector
  • Archival resources and heritage sites open to Austen scholars and fans
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Carry out your own research on a topic
  • Collaborate with and/or consult others on a project
  • Speak confidently about your own research in public, creatively and persuasively presenting your approach to a topic in a number of different registers
  • Think creatively about how to solve problems
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Research and present material drawn from individual and archival research in an engaging way
  • Distill and rework primary and secondary materials in a way that is accessible to a wide range of audiences
  • Display, promote and disseminate your research using a number of digital tools
  • Assess extant approaches to Jane Austen in museums, libraries, and other heritage sites
  • Evaluate adaptations and translations of works of fiction across a range of media

Syllabus

Jane Austen’s novels and life have been adapted, remixed, and translated into an ever-growing body of films, television series, books, graphic novels, YouTube channels, and even video games—a thriving media industry. She also continues to play an important role in the life of several heritage sites in Hampshire, England. This module, run in close partnership with cultural and heritage organisations including Chawton House and the Jane Austen House Museum, will introduce you to the creative industries that have grown up around Jane Austen and her work. It will include critical, practical and creative elements, combining traditional seminar discussion with guest lectures, workshops, and field trips to Chawton House and the Jane Austen House Museum in the village of Chawton, and to the Georgian Spa resort of Bath. Sessions led by experts in literature and film will enable you to explore Jane Austen’s afterlives in the media, thinking about issues of translation, adaptation, and corporate branding. A number of guest lectures and workshops will also give students practical insight into key aspects of working in the heritage sector, from conservation and curating for the general public, to engagement with Digital Humanities tools. Topics of study are likely to include: Jane Austen in Hollywood; public engagement; from academia to the world; curating skills, the role of the curator and questions of authorship; conservation skills; understanding Digital Humanities; historic houses in the twenty-first century. The module will encourage a full understanding of Jane Austen’s place in the modern world, allow you to develop vital and transferable skills for positions in the heritage sector, and provide a unique opportunity for you to curate your own mini exhibition on Jane Austen as part of your final assessment.

Special Features

• Opportunity to contribute to the work of heritage properties, gaining hands-on experience • Opportunity to visit a number of sites associated with Jane Austen & benefit from the knowledge and expertise of those involved in the running and management of these sites

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Seminars • Guest lectures • Workshops • Individual guidance sessions in advance of the final assessment • Office hours for individual feedback on the assessment Learning activities include • Preparatory reading and research prior to contact hours • Individual study and research • Researching and putting together an exhibition display

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task100
Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Seminar24
Follow-up work76
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Watson, N. J., The Literary Tourist: Readers and Places in Romantic and Victorian Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). 

Johnson, Claudia, Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). 

Dow, Gillian, and Claire Hanson (Eds.), Uses of Austen: Jane’s Afterlives (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). 

Obrist, Hans Ulrich, Ways of Curating (London: Penguin, 2015). 

Misiura, Shashi, Heritage Marketing (Oxford: Elesevier, 2006). 

Llewellyn, Mark, ‘Afterword: Living in the Library: On My (Neo-) Victorian Education’, Neo-Victorian Studies 10.1 (2017), 133-51. ,0 , pp. 0.

Martinon, Jean-Paul, The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating (London: Bloomsbury, 2013). 

Lynch, Deidre, Janeites: Austen’s Disciples and Devotees (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000). 

Mandler, Peter, The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997). 

Wiltshire, John, Recreating Jane Austen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 

Hutcheon Linda, with Siobhan O’Flynn, A Theory of Adaptation, 2nd edn. (London: Routledge, 2013). 

Littlejohn, David, The Fate of the English Country House (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

There will be no non-contributory assessments in this module, but classroom activities and individual discussions should help you to judge how you are progressing in the module.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical commentary  (1500 words) 30%
Exhibition  (1000 words) 60%
Oral presentation  (15 minutes) 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

All transportation costs for field trips are covered in the course fees. Costs for this module should not exceed £40, for books and stationery equipment.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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