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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL2013 The Medieval Renascence: Chaucer, Langland and the 'Gawain' Poet

20 creditsClass Size: 120

English

Module manager: Dr Alfred Hiatt
Email: A.Hiatt@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at 'A' Level in English Language or Literature or equivalent or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English.

Please note: This module is restricted to Level 2 and 3 students.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module aims to encourage students to develop close reading and analytic skills in relation to works by the three most famous poets of late fourteenth-century England: Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, and the anonymous author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Guided study of the set texts will enable students to comment in detail on passages written in the late medieval Englishes of London, and of the north-west and south-west Midlands; and to explore a wide variety of medieval literary genres - comic tale, beast fable, romance, dream vision, satire, debate. Students will be encouraged to reflect on fundamental medieval literary topics, including the status of poetry and the poet, narrative transformations, the medieval sense of humour, gender questions, orality and literacy, the representation of chivalry, and the relationship of books to life. The module seeks to equip students to engage actively with some of the best literature in Middle English. The principal texts for study will include the General Prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and three selected Tales; the Prologue and Passus 1-7 of Langland's visionary epic Piers Plowman, and the Arthurian romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Selected portions of these texts will be studied in the original.

Objectives

The module aims to encourage students to develop close reading and analytic skills in relation to a representative range of works by the three most famous poets in late fourteenth-century England: Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, and the anonymous author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Guided study of the set texts will enable students to comment in detail on passages written in the late medieval Englishes of London, and of the north-west and south-west Midlands; and to explore an appropriate variety of medieval literary genres--fabliau, beast fable, romance, dream vision, satire, debate. Students will be encouraged to reflect on fundamental medieval literary issues, including the status of poetry, and the nature of narrative transformations, gender issues, orality and literacy, the representation of piety and spirituality, and the relationship of books to life. By the end of the module, students will have been equipped to engage actively with some of the best literature in Middle English and to understand the nature of its linguistic and literary challenges.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


Syllabus

The principal Geoffrey Chaucer texts for study are all drawn from 'The Canterbury Tales': The General Prologue, The Wife of Bath's Tale, The Merchant's Tale, The Nonnes Prestes Tale. We will also study the Prologue and Passus 1-7 of Langland's kaleidoscopic visionary epic 'Piers Plowman', and the anonymous Arthurian romance 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'. Passages for close study from four of the texts will be identified in the module documents issued at the start of the semester.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture221.0022.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars.

Unassessed assignment.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

One unassessed essay of approximately 1700 words (including quotations and footnotes) is required, for which the deadline is given in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. This does not form part of the examination for this module, but is a module requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/05/2008

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