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Unit information: Rudyard Kipling in 2015/16

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Unit name Rudyard Kipling
Unit code ENGL29004
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Lee
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Kipling was described by Henry James as “The most complete man of genius I have ever known”. This unit aims to examine his work as a novelist, short story writer, children’s writer, poet and journalist, and to characterise his place in the literary tradition. It will also account for his problematic status in modern criticism, and evaluate the claim that he is an apologist for Empire. Subjects to be studied may include: Kipling and India; Kipling and the Great War; the writer as public figure; Kipling’s treatment of love and hate, of religion, of childhood; and, of course, Kipling’s politics.


This unit aims to introduce students to the work of one of the major twentieth-century authors. Students will study Kipling's writing across a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, novels, and journalism. They will also consider the reception of Kipling's work, and the appropriateness of the reasons why he has fallen out of favour with certain sections of the academic community.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have

  1. developed knowledge and critical understanding of a range of Rudyard Kipling’s writings;
  2. knowledge of some of the literary historical and wider cultural contexts of Kipling's work in a variety of genres;
  3. demonstrated the ability to analyse and evaluate differing critical accounts of the primary texts;
  4. demonstrated the ability to identify and evaluate pertinent evidence in order to present a cogent argument;
  5. strengthened their skills in research, argumentation and academic writing.

Teaching details

1 x 2 hour seminar per week.

Assessment Details

  • 1 essay of 2000 words (40%)
  • 1 essay of 3000 words (60%)

Both summative essays map onto ILOs 1-5.

Reading and References

Rudyard Kipling, Rudyard Kipling’s Verse

Rudyard Kipling, Debits and Credits

Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills

Rudyard Kipling, Traffics and Discoveries

Rudyard Kipling, Rewards and Fairies