HS3T39-Witches, Heretics and Social Outcasts: Europe and its Outsiders c.1250-1550

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Helen Parish

Email: h.l.parish@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
Part 3 Options involve the study of specific periods, subjects or types of history. This topic aims to provide students with an understanding of the rise and spread of 'deviance' in western Europe during the late medieval period.

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

  • identify and explain the main issues and events studied
  • acquire a detailed knowledge of the events through extensive reading in specialised literature
  • locate and assemble information on the subject by independent research
  • appraise critically the primary sources and historical interpretations of the subject
  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays.

Additional outcomes:
The 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:

Late medieval Europe has been described as 'a persecuting society' in which the enforcement of orthodox of belief and behaviour resulted in the exclusion and persecution of individuals and groups as diverse as Christian heretics, Jews, women, mystics, and witches. This module will examine the rise and spread of 'deviance' in western Europe, and the strong reactions aroused by crimes as diverse as blasphemy, witchcraft, and infanticide. It will consider the factors that underpinned the determination of the authorities to define and enforce orthodoxies, and the methods employed to bring about conversion and integration, from preaching missions to segregation to persecution. Seminars will explore the treatment of various groups at the hands of church and state, including witches, heretics (Waldensians, Hussites and Anabaptists), lepers, and Jews. Consideration will be given to the efforts made to stamp out doctrinal error, superstition and magic, but also the degree to which toleration was advocated and practiced. Specific case studies will be set within a more general historiographical and theoretical context. Students will also be introduced to a broad range of primary source materials, and encouraged to reflect upon the difficulties posed by the use of such records.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars for which students must carry out full preparatory reading and research. Seminars rely on structured group discussion and may also include: seminar papers by students; discussion of evidence; team-based exercises and debates; study visit to a relevant location. 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 30
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 169
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
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 one essay of not more than 2,500 words, to be submitted electronically via Blackboard by 12 noon on the Monday of week 9 of the term. Five marks will be deducted if the coursework essay exceeds 2,625 words (ie 5% over the word limit).

Formative assessment methods:
1,000 words or 2 pages of A4 maximum to include, at the module convenor's discretion, an essay plan, bibliography, book review or other preparatory work towards the summative essay.

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:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 3 examinations.

    Requirements for a pass:

    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. Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) ONLY in August. These will be capped at a maximum mark of 40%. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: Purchase of textbooks is not compulsory, but students should consider setting aside £25 per course to cover the purchase of useful 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: 31 March 2017

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