IT2WWR-Writing Women in Renaissance Italy

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: Part 1 Italian, or by arrangement
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Francesca Medioli

Email: f.medioli@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
This module aims to explore various representations of women in fictional and other works during the early modern period by writers of both sexes. Different kinds of literary activities and general social conditions are examined in order to identify why women writers became more visible from the mid-sixteenth century. To gain a clearer picture of cultural practices, major works by Boccaccio and Castiglione are analysed alongside examples by leading female writers, including the aristocratic poet Vittoria Colonna and the courtesan Veronica Franco. These works reveal the increasingly adventurous ways in which women managed to appropriate and adapt 'male' conventions, thus challenging received perceptions of the literary canon.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students are expected to have acquired:

skills in analysing literary texts from the early modern period in relation to the social context of their production

an awareness of the historical evolution of ideas on gender

a critical approach towards published secondary sources

Additional outcomes:
The module encourages the development of independent research skills using a range of resources, including web-based ones. Students will develop skills in presenting soundly based arguments through oral discussion and in writing. In addition, students will develop understanding of the history of print publication.

Outline content:
Writing Women in Renaissance Italy examines cultural activities over a period of considerable political and social change, with particular sensitivity to issues of gender. Shifts in cultural practices are traced chronologically and thematically by drawing on a combination of historical and literary sources. During the Autumn term, a series of writings on and by women are explored, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In the Spring term the module will focus on women writers operating in Venice, and consider the implications of the rise of printing and the social prominence of courtesans during the sixteenth century. A selection of writings authored by women will illustrate their growing adventurousness later in the period, both in terms of the genre and the content of their writings. All the texts studied are available also in translation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught through a combination of informal lectures and seminars, and will offer students the opportunity to work with rare books from the period studied from the University’s Special Collections. Students will carry out preparatory reading for the seminars, which will take the form of a structured group discussion, in order to develop a critical appreciation of Renaissance literary texts, and the ideas and contexts that influenced them.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15 15
Seminars 2
Tutorials 1 1
Guided independent study 82 84
       
Total hours by term 98.00 100.00 2.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Set exercise 20
Class test administered by School 40

Other information on summative assessment:
During the course of the module students will complete one assessed worksheet assignment and one assessed essay of 2,000-2,500 words, as well as a class test.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will also be expected to participate actively in seminar discussions and to prepare short non-assessed assignments for class discussion. All students will be asked to deliver short individual or group presentations.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

- 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;
- where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
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.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:
http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)



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:
    40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 2 as a whole, or (for compulsory modules only) of failure to qualify in Part 2.
    Coursework for reassessment must be resubmitted by 1PM on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, at 1PM on the next working day thereafter.

    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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