EN3ER-Editing the Renaissance

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Part 1 English
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Dr Mark Hutchings

Email: m.p.v.hutchings@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module is designed for students with an interest in how texts are edited and the theoretical and practical aspects of modern editing; it may appeal particularly to students interested in pursuing postgraduate study in this area, or careers in publishing or journalism. The course focuses on textual production and transmission in the Renaissance, and how the texts that we study and customarily assume to be ‘original’ are in fact mediated and re-presented at several removes from their putative ‘authorial’ or ‘cultural’ origins. We will examine texts from the Renaissance, such as poems, plays, and prose narratives, alongside modern editions, and engage with modern theories of editing. Students will edit a text of their choice – and one which has not been edited and published before – and provide a scholarly introduction and editorial apparatus, including a commentary, notes, and glosses.

This module offers students an opportunity to engage with a range of texts, study theories of scholarly editing, and engage in the practical matter of editing a text. We will use RUL and its archives, and draw on Early English Books Online (EEBO) and other digital/electronic resources. Students will gain a thorough grounding in the materiality of the Renaissance text, develop an understanding of the issues and challenges facing an editor, and learn about the history of editing in English literary studies.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be expected to:
•Show skills of close textual analysis and transcription
•Show an awareness of broader theoretical issues generated by the texts, and by modern scholarly theories of editing
•Engage critically with ideas discussed in seminars
•Construct and express coherent arguments, both orally and in writing
•Edit a Renaissance text to a standard commensurate with the level of the course

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students taking this module will acquire skills ranging from transcription and proofreading to modernizing and editing Renaissance texts. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner

Outline content:
This module begins by ‘unediting’ the Renaissance, introducing students to the text as material artefact. Topics for discussion include: authorship and authority; early modern literary production; scribal publication and print publication; writing for the stage/page; theories of editing; texts and textuality; digitalisation and digital editions. The first half of the module examines core texts/topics, and students then proceed to work on specific texts and editorial problems, for which they receive seminar and tutorial support.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Three seminar hours weekly, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative written work. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Tutorials 0.5
Guided independent study 129.5 40
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

Students give a 10-15 minute oral presentation on the text or texts they have chosen to edit for their course project. Feedback is provided by both tutors and members of the seminar. Students will keep a reflective journal (33%) during the course, which is submitted in Week 9, or the equivalent placement report. They will also edit a text or texts of their choice (agreed in consultation with tutors), comprising a critical introduction, notes, and commentary, together with the edition itself (67%). The editorial apparatus (excluding the edited text and bibliography) should total no more than 4,000 words

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:

    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 22 August.

    Last updated: 11 March 2015

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