2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
ENGL32998 Writing and Gender in Seventeenth-Century England
20 creditsClass Size: 30
Module manager: Dr Jane Rickard
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2022/23
Module replacesENGL32144 - Writing Women in Seventeenth-Century England
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryHow was the relationship between gender and speech or writing debated in seventeenth-century England? What opportunities were available to women as participants in literary culture? And how did male writers engage with their female counterparts? On this module we will explore how women wrote and were written across a range of literary genres, including plays, poetry, and polemic. We will encounter male authors such as Ben Jonson who did not simply represent women but scripted female performance, wrote for powerful female patrons, and examined gender (masculinity as well as femininity) as a social construct. We will meet female authors such as Rachel Speght, Emilia Lanier, and Aphra Behn who did not write in a separate "feminine sphere" but argued with men, challenged patriarchal narratives, and helped to shape literary convention and tradition. In the process, we will learn about the social and material conditions that affected writers of both genders in the Renaissance and Restoration periods. We will also consider why female writing has largely been left outside of the traditional literary canon and how this might have impoverished our understanding of seventeenth-century literary culture. Introducing a wide selection of writers and texts, many of them critically neglected, we will open up many opportunities for independent research beyond as well as on this module.
ObjectivesThe module will introduce a range of female and male writers; cover a variety of literary genres, including plays, poetry, and prose; and span the seventeenth century. It will ask students to consider the critical and theoretical issues raised by study of the relationship between gender, writing, and reading. It will deepen understanding of the social and material conditions that affected all writers in this period.
Students will have learnt:
-about the varied roles that women played in the literary culture of seventeenth-century England
-about the different ways in which critics and theorists have understood the relationship between gender, writing, and reading
-about how critical neglect of women's writing has limited our understanding of seventeenth-century literary culture
-about the social and material conditions that affected all writers in early modern England and the key changes that occurred over the seventeenth century
Students will have developed skills in:
-analysing a diverse range of texts
-evaluating and responding sensitively to different viewpoints
- written and oral communication
On the module we will study a selection of plays, poems, and prose works by writers including Ben Jonson, Elizabeth Cary, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Emilia Lanier, Katherine Philips, Rachel Speght, Joseph Swetnam, and Lady Mary Wroth.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||185.00|
|Total Contact hours||15.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyTeaching will be through 10 x 1 hour weekly seminars plus 4 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour library workshop.
Private Study: Reading, seminar preparation, essay writing.
Opportunities for Formative Feedback- Seminar contribution.
- 1st assessed assignment.
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: 29/04/2022 15:24:14
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