CL3TH-Transformations of Helen

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Barbara Goff


Summary module description:
Helen of Troy has captured the imagination of numerous creative and scholarly writers both in antiquity and closer to our own time. Even in antiquity the contradictory versions of her story provoked multiple narratives and strong reactions. This module investigates the figure of Helen via various literary versions from Greece, Rome, and subsequent cultures. We shall explore the themes of gender, desire and marriage, identity and deception, poetic language and poetic tradition, both in the ancient texts and in significant modern receptions.

To familiarise students with different versions of Helen of Troy and to examine some of the literary and theoretical debates that this figure has generated.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students who complete the module successfully should be able to:

•Identify themes and concerns which emerge in the set texts
•Compare a variety of set texts in terms of their historical, cultural and formal dimensions
•Complement the evidence and arguments presented in the seminars with additional information assembled by their own research
•Articulate their arguments effectively and illustrate them with relevant evidence

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience with IT and with group presentations.

Outline content:
The class will read excerpts from a variety of texts which investigate the figure of Helen of Troy. Texts will include Homer, tragedy, philosophy, Vergil, Ovid, and modern plays and poems.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will proceed by 2-hour seminars, which will include group presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Comprises a commentary on a passage of text due in by 12 noon on Friday week 5 (20%), and an essay due in by 12 noon on Friday week 11 (30%)
Three hours, requiring 3 commentaries on passages from the set texts.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    Three hour paper

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in September. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed grade of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22 August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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