2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
ARTF2060 Ecologies of Medieval Art
20 creditsClass Size: 25
Module manager: Professor Catherine Karkov
Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryEcologies are networks in which the human intra-acts with the elements, the environment, the nonhuman, objects, materiality, study, language and the imagination, and so forth. Ecologies create histories and leave their traces in both memory and the material world. The material world thus emerges in the encounter between the human and all that can be classified as 'nonhuman.' This module asks you to think about how these ecologies develop and decay, how they face crisis and heal themselves.
ObjectivesThe module will explore the ecologies of medieval art through a combination of theoretical and historical readings, encounters with and discussions of objects, and hands-on work with a small portion of the landscape (a micro-ecology). It will explore both the agency of nature and the nonhuman, and the way in which nature, the elements, animals, objects and shifting ecologies were perceived, theorised, depicted and encountered, as well as how they left their traces on and through the art and architecture of the period. The weekly readings offer a combination of sources dealing with contemporary eco-theory, with original medieval sources, and with secondary scholarship on those sources. Weekly lectures and discussions of the lecture material will ask you to apply what you have learned from those readings to medieval objects. Your essays will ask you to reflect on how these multiple sources are set in dialogue with each other. You will then need to synthesise them in order to construct original arguments of your own.
The micro-ecology project (an idea borrowed from Jeffrey Jerome Cohen) asks you to find a place, anywhere you like, for intense ecological reflection and study. During the course of the semester you should make at least two 1-hour visits per week to your place to note its changes. The spot can be anywhere you like, and any size you like, but it should be small enough for you to be able to organise your thought. It could be a part of Hyde Park, Cemetery Field, or your own garden; it could also be part of the built environment—City Square, the corner of a building, an abandoned lot. Turn off all electronic equipment. You should look slowly, paying attention both to natural forces (weather, sunlight, animals, microclimates) and to human influences (pollution, decay, building or rebuilding). Take pictures and make sketches of your place—sketching encourages both eye and hand to really get to know a place. Your observations will form the basis for your final presentation and essay.
On completion of this module, students will have demonstrated:
- Critical analysis of primary and secondary sources;
- Understanding of key concepts in ecocriticism;
- Verbal fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument;
- Research skills;
- Analysis of images, texts and objects.
Week 1: Introduction: ecology and medieval art
Week 2: Water
Week 3: Earth
Week 4: Air
Week 5: Fire
Week 6: Essay tutorials
Week 7: Ice
Week 8: Coasts
Week 9: Animals and Monsters
Week 10: Presentations of micro-ecology projects
Week 11: Presentations of micro-ecology projects
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Class tests, exams and assessment||1||2.00||2.00|
|Private study hours||176.00|
|Total Contact hours||24.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyThe two essays will require independent reflection and research, and the final presentation will require some advance preparation. Weekly readings will require private study, and the micro-ecology project will require at least 2 hours of independent study per week.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackStudent progress will be monitored through class participation, through the first essay, through reading week tutorials, and through the final presentation.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/08/2019
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