Writing the Nineteenth Century City

This module seeks to explore textual constructions of nineteenth-century urban spaces and those who inhabit them. What does it mean to live in the city in the nineteenth century and what might the city mean to its inhabitants and to the English population at large? We will consider the ways in which different types of space - the street, the graveyard, the house – are meaningful as well as the different ways more general conceptions of ‘the city’ are articulated across the century. We will pay attention to issues such as mobility, transport, technology, Englishness, class, gender, ethnicity, and religion, and we will engage with different theories of space and place (by authors such as Simmel, Heidegger, Bachelard and Massey). Throughout the course we will address the relationship between representation and place and how different types of imaginative literature present their urban spaces.