Courses & Units

Nineteenth-Century Sensation and Spectacle HEN203


This unit considers the 19th-century fascination with narratives of scandal, transgression, criminality, and irrationality, referred to as narratives of “sensation”. The unit may cover genres like the gothic, colonial adventure fiction, detective fiction, and the “sensation novel”, and the appearance of these genres in “respectable” realist fiction of the period, as well as extracts from texts like penny dreadfuls and advertisements, and biological, criminological, imperial, moral, or feminist texts. Providing an introduction to the literary and cultural history of the century, and introducing key writers, the unit asks why readers were fascinated by sensation narratives, and what these narratives tell us about the dreams and anxieties of 19th-century society.


Unit name Nineteenth-Century Sensation and Spectacle
Unit code HEN203
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline English
Coordinator Doctor Robbie Moore
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse selected nineteenth-century texts demonstrating knowledge of: a. their style and form and cultural and historical contexts b. key theories and practices of literary studies
  • Construct an argument supported by: a. evidence from your chosen texts b. reference to secondary sources
  • Communicate through: a. written essays b. presentations c. class discussions

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
not applicable

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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25 credit points at Introductory level or higher

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

On Campus:
Weekly on-campus lectorial (1 hour); weekly tutorials (1.5 hours)

Off Campus:
Weekly live-streamed lectorial (1 hour) (also available as a recording); weekly online participation

AssessmentTutorial presentation and participation (20%)|Archive essay (30%)|Research essay (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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