IT3PSR-Performance and the Self in Renaissance Italy

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: Pre-req: Part 2 Italian
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 familiarise students with some of the most outstanding and influential examples of the culture of Renaissance Italy, which shapes our idea of civilisation to the present day. In the first part of the module, students will be introduced to two of the earliest and most important examples of Renaissance comedy. In the second part of the module, students will study one of the most significant works in the Western literary canon, Petrarch's 'Canzoniere'. All the texts studied are available in English translation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module students will have acquired:
- a general knowledge of Italian culture during the Renaissance and of the literary languages of the period
- a detailed knowledge of important selected texts and associated ideas
- skillls in academic writing and oral presentation, research, literary analysis and criticism.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of independent thinking and arguing, both orally and in writing. Students will be able to develop IT skills and to explore issues of dramatic performance.

Outline content:
Autumn Term:

After a short series of introductory lectures on Italian culture in the Renaissance and the rebirth of the classical form of comedy, students will study the following:

1. Renaissance Theatre

Bibbiena's 'Calandria' (1513) and Machiavelli's 'Mandragola' (c. 1518) are amongst the earliest so-called regular comedies to be produced in Italy, that is, comedies modelled on classical examples. They would both be immensely influential within the European context. These plays are much more than direct imitations, however, drawing also on the more recent novella tradition, as well as a rich contemporary tradition of courtly festivals and performances. Both writers demonstrate a sophisticated appreciation of wit and comic techniques, and reflect the tastes and ideals of their elite audiences. Yet, much of the enduring appeal of these comedies lies in their irreverent challenge to social conventions such as class and gender, and particularly in Machiavelli's case, the exploration of the subversive side to the genre.

Spring Term

2. Petrarch

Petrarch, one of the greatest and most influential European poets, can be regarded as the founder of lyric poetry as a literary genre in its own right. His perception of the poet as an intellectual of the highest cultural and philosophical standing, and his refined language and imagery had a fundamental influence on Renaissance poetry, literature and culture. Even modern and contemporary poetry cannot be fully appreciated without reference to his work. The classes will focus on the main thematic, structural and stylistic features of his masterpiece, the 'Canzoniere'.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught through a combination of informal lectures and seminar discussions (15 hours for each of the Autumn and Spring terms) for which students will carry out preparatory reading.

Revision classes will be arranged for the Summer term.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15 15
Seminars 2
Guided independent study 83 85
       
Total hours by term 98.00 100.00 2.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

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

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write a 2000-word essay and complete an assignment. Alternative modes of assessment involving media and technology are possible and by agreement. They will also sit a three hour exam in the Summer term.

All students will be asked to contribute to class discussion and deliver short individual or group presentations.

Formative assessment methods:
All students will be asked to contribute to class discussion and deliver short non-assessed individual or group presentations, which may include a group reading/unstaged performance of an extract of a play.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.

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 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:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    40%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in the degree as a whole. 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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