BA Art History and English Literature

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Imagining the Early Modern: From Henry V to Game of Thrones

Unit code ENGL34011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by English and American Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This course unit considers issues of periodisation, historiography, adaptation and cultural appropriation by looking at the myriad ways that the Early Modern period has been reworked and rethought over the past centuries. By looking at key theory from Walter Benjamin to Jacques Derrida, texts by writers as diverse as William Shakespeare, Jeanette Winterson and Caryl Phillips, and media including graphic novels, games, and TV series, the module allows students to think about ethics, representation, colonialism, identity and gender. 

Aims

  • To explore how the Early Modern Period has been represented in diverse ways in global culture
  • To engage in the critical analysis of cultural responses to the Early Modern Period
     
  • To consider the representations of the Early Modern period in relation to constructions of gender, sexuality, nation, race, and class
     
  • To considers issues of periodisation, historiography, adaptation and cultural appropriation by looking at the myriad ways that the Early Modern period has been reworked and rethought over the past centuries
     
  • To develop students’ skills of written expression and production of coherent arguments, at a level appropriate to work that will form part of the final assessment

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Critically reflect upon different types of representation, adaptation, pastiche and reworking
     
  • Use a range of theoretical templates and methodologies when approaching a range of non-canonical texts and media forms
     
  • Work individually and as a group on approaching and solving key research challenges

Syllabus

Week 1: Rewriting
Lecture and seminar: Michael Symons Roberts, Zaffar Kunial, Carol Ann Duffy (texts circulated on Blackboard)
Study group: Collaboration

Week 2: Adaptation
Lecture and seminar: Shakespeare, O and Macbeth
Study group: Enquiry Based Learning

Week 3: Otherness
Lecture and seminar:      Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
Study group: Research

Week 4: Transformation
Lecture and seminar: Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry
Study group: Presentation and Writing

Week 5: Colonialism
Lecture and seminar: Malick, The New World
Study group: Presentations

Reading Week

Week 7: Revolution
Lecture and seminar: McTeigue, V for Vendetta
Study group: Afterlife

Week 8: Utopia
Lecture and seminar: Carol Churchill, Light Shining on Buckinghamshire
Study group: Afterlife

Week 9: Politics
Lecture and seminar: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Study group: Afterlife

Week 10: Evil
Lecture and seminar: A Field in England
Study group: Essay workshop

Week 11: Race
Lecture and seminar: Caryl Philips, The Nature of Blood
Study group: Essay workshop

Week 12: Fantasy and reality
Lecture and seminar: GOT, Assassin’s Creed
Study group: Essay workshop

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching: 3 x 1-hour sessions:

 

1. Enquiry Based Learning study groups (timetabled, with tutor in attendance)

Structured study discussion and research.

 

Study groups: weeks 1-5 Given set texts to prepare collaborative work (such as 1603, Tulip Fever, Hawksmoor, Anne Boleyn, ‘London 1802’). This is presented in week 5 and submitted as group report in week 6 (20% of mark with tutor/ peer feedback).

 

Study groups: weeks 7-9 ‘Thing’ or ‘afterlife’ discussion. and weeks 7-9, Either plan for a project or description of a ‘thing’. Reports will be blogged (25% of mark).

 

Study groups: weeks 10-12.  Students will workshop their own readings of a text weeks 10-12.

 

2. Class seminar discussion on particular text

 

3. 5x theory lectures: Benjamin, Derrida, key concepts: authenticity, adaptation, etc

After reading week this reverts to ‘Hour 2’ group discussion in the same time slot.

 

Plus:

1x field trip

4x film screening

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Discuss a range of different ways of representing historical periods
     
  • Critically reflect upon modes of representation
     
  • Show an awareness of the diverse ways that the Early Modern period has been represented, and to critically evaluate some of these iterations
     
  • Be able to use a range of methodologies and theoretical approaches

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Think critically about particular media forms and the representation of the past
     
  • Approach a number of key methodological and theoretical models
     
  • Make reasoned, substantiated arguments for a particular point of view.
     
  • Work with a developed critical and conceptual vocabulary appropriate to the subject matter and level of the module

 

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Work collaboratively on the production of assessed work
     
  • Use several databases including BoB, EEBO, ECCO
     
  • Think conceptually about issues of representation
     
  • Demonstrate an ability to work in a seminar setting, workshop setting, and individually

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Work collaboratively and independently on major pieces of work
     
  • Manage their time effectively
     
  • Show a clearly developed sense of how enquiry relates to learning
     
  • Show an ability to construct and defend complex arguments through textual evidence, both in writing and in seminar discussions
     
  • Show an ability to prepare, organize and present material in a coherent manner to peers

Assessment methods

Group Report; 1000 words of c.4000 word report; 20%


Group ‘plan’ of afterlife (i.e. festival, museum exhibit, theatrical or film adaptation) or description of a particular object (all media); Blogged, 1500 words; (25%)

Essay, with reflective log (no more than 10%); 3500 words; 55%

Feedback methods

Formal feedback: via Blackboard to all submissions

Informal feedback: via study group, peer feedback to presentations and submissions, tutor one-to-one discussions

There will be a facility for groups to discuss issues with me independently, particularly to do with assessment problems

 

Recommended reading

Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Revisionist Histories

Macfie, ed., The Fiction of History

String, ed., Tudorism

Samuel, Theatres of Memory

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 164

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jerome De Groot Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Timetable for 2019/20:

Lecture: Fri 10am - 1pm

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