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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2220 The Body, Disease and Society in Europe, 1500-1750

20 creditsClass Size: 42

Module manager: Dr Alexandra Bamji
Email: TBA

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

How did early modern Europeans imagine the body, and what was the impact of disease on individuals, families and states? This module examines understandings of the body and disease at a time in which the great pox spread throughout Europe and plague ravaged cities at frequent intervals. This was also a period marked by significant medical developments, with a growing interest in anatomy and new chemical medicines. This module will situate medical knowledge and practice within the wider social and cultural context. Religion is a central theme. The module considers how God's wrath was believed to cause disease; and examines discourses and images of saints, witches and monsters to reveal the prominence of concepts of purity and pollution. Approaches from cultural history and a wide range of sources will be used to draw out the links between ideas and experiences of disease and the body, and the interrelationship of medicine, religion and society.

Objectives

On completion of this module students will be able to:

- explain how the body was imagined and experienced in early modern Europe;
- demonstrate a knowledge of medical theory and medical practice in early modern Europe;
- demonstrate how ideas were shaped by religious belief and the social and cultural context;
- demonstrate an awareness of chronological development and geographical variation in beliefs and practices concerning disease and the body.

Syllabus

The module will cover the following topics:
- The humoral body and challenges to Galenic medicine
- Morbidity and mortality
- Plague and the pox
- Patients and practitioners
- Hospitals, public health and the environment
- Purity and pollution
- Sex, gender and reproduction
- Death, body and soul
- Monsters, witches and the Devil

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
Lecture111.0011.00
Seminar61.006.00
Private study hours183.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored throughout the course on class participation and non assessed work which will be completed in preparation for seminars. Formal assessment will be monitored as detailed above.

Methods of assessment

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


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word assessed essay to be submitted Friday of week 730.00
Oral Presentation1 x verbal presentation. Any re-sit of this component will be assessed with equivalent written exercise10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2009

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