HS3S31-People and Ideas in the Early Enlightenment: Britain and the Republic of Letters, 1650-1750, A

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: HS3S81 People and Ideas in the Early Enlightenment: Britain and the Republic of Letters, 1650-1750, B
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Esther Mijers

Email: E.Mijers@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Specials aim to provide ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • recognise and interpret a range of different primary materials
  • undertake detailed textual analysis and comment on the primary materials
  • achieve a detailed command of varying historical interpretations of the primary materials and subject as a whole
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
This course studies the movement of ideas, peoples and goods (books) in the context of the Republic of Letters. Central themes are both the mechanics and the beliefs and characteristics of cultural and intellectual life in late seventeenth and early eighteenth century Britain and the Continent. The course will concentrate on the distinctive intellectual sphere formed by England, Scotland, the United Provinces, Switzerland and parts of Germany, France and Scandinavia, and untangle the different links and exchanges. It will look at scholarly networks and friendships in both a university and a non-academic setting. Academies, learned societies and personal - formal and informal - contacts will all be addressed as important vehicles for exchanges in ideas. Furthermore, the impact of these relations on academic disciplines and political and religious thought will be assessed. This course will use electronic primary sources and databases, as well as primary material available in the University’s Special Collections.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching for this module and for HS3S81 together involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. Students will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 88 89
Total hours by term 99.00 101.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Between two and four pieces of formative written work, for instance essays, seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, will normally be required for this Special Subject over the two terms.

Students will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature. Practice commentaries on the sources will be required for formative assessment.

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: 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:
    A three-hour paper involving detailed commentary on extracts from sources studied.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree, but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Re-examination in August, where students are permitted to re-sit this module.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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