EN2CMN-Chaucer and Medieval Narrative

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1 or A-Level (A*, A or B)
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Aisling Byrne

Email: a.byrne@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module introduces students to a representative selection of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and also invesigates some of the major literary and intellectual influences upon the text in, for example, classical and medieval narrative practice and philosophical thought. Chaucer's narratives are set alongside illustrative samples of comparable narrative texts in the period. However, the main emphasis will be on close study of the range of narrative achievement in the Canterbury Tales.

Aims:
This module aims to provide students with knowledge of a wide and representative selection of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, together with a small range of comparable narrative texts. It is designed to promote strategies of close critical reading, and to introduce students to questions of narrative method, voice, structure, genre and audience.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•demonstrate an understanding of the Middle English texts they have studied
•identify and discuss a range of narrative forms and techniques
•exercise critical skills of detailed textual analysis
•engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or
secondary materials
•organize and articulate a coherent written argument, both in coursework essays
and under timed examination conditions.

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, including practical advocacy, together with critical, interpretative, comparative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

Outline content:
The module introduces students to a representative selection of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and also investigates some of the major literary and intellectual influences upon the text in, for example, classical and medieval narrative practice and philosophical thought. Chaucer's narratives will be set alongside illustrative samples of comparable narrative texts in the period, such as Marie de France's lays, Henryson's fables, Middle English romance (all in The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 1), and Gower's stories. though the main emphasis will be on close study of the range of major issues in relation to representative groups of tales, while seminars focus mostly on individual tales, with opportunities for student-directed choice of topics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A combination of lectures and structured seminar discussion, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative essay. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 1
Seminars 10
Tutorials 0.5
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 139.5 37
       
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

Students write one formative essay, of approximately 1500 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 1800-2000 words, or on the equivalent placement report.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor 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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of at least 40% overall.

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

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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