EN2RTC-Renaissance Texts and Cultures

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1 or A-Level (A*, A or B)
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Michelle O'Callaghan

Email: m.f.ocallaghan@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
Renaissance Texts and Cultures is a module in which students explore the ways that English literature was shaped by, and helped to re-shape, English culture in the years between the Reformation and the Civil Wars. It provides students with a training in historicist literary criticism, that is, the critical approach that stresses the interconnectedness between literary texts and the cultural and political processes current at the time when the texts were first written and made public.

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of a variety of texts written during the English Renaissance, together with an awareness of relationships between those texts and some of their literary, cultural, and intellectual influences and contexts. It is designed to develop students’ skills in close textual analysis and in historicist literary criticism. It aims to deepen students' understanding of genre with particular reference to early modern literary theories and to encourage them to consider the important of audience and media for publication, particularly with respect to early modern cultures of reading.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
•analyse the language and formal features of the texts
•recognise the interactions of the selected texts with significant political and cultural debates
•identify and discuss the effects of genre and intended audience within a text
•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, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will be encouraged to develop skills of oral communication and effective participation in group work. They will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources and databases and the word-processing of assessed work.

Outline content:
This module offers students the opportunity to explore the dynamic, competing cultures of late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century England. Students will be introduced to a variety of kinds of writing: earnest writings of humanists and religious reformers will be juxtaposed with courtly, erotic and sensuous verse; writings that question or attempt to define gender or national identity will be studied alongside the new literature of travel and colonial exploration. Texts will largely be drawn from The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume 1, augmented by additional material available on Blackboard.

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 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 knowledtge 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 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes toward the overall module mark:

Formative assessment methods:

Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve perforjmace (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. Written feedback is provided and the student has the option of requesting a one-to-one tutorial for additional advice. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of up to 2500 words, or on the equivalent placement report.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment 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 25 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: 20 April 2018


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