Literature, Culture, and Crisis in Early Modern England (TRU3028)

30 credits

This module will explore the literary and cultural history of early modern England (1550-1630) through the theme of crisis. During this period, England faced repeated threats of war, anxieties about royal succession and authority, religious conflict, economic shortage, outbreaks of disease, population explosion, immigration issues, urban overcrowding, and environmental degradation. Through a range of literary texts, official documents, manuscripts, maps, manuals, and scientific notebooks, the module will examine meaning/s of ‘crisis’ in early modern culture and how its concomitant fears stimulated human ingenuity and imagination. Unique activities of the module are manuscript study and book history workshops, and an archival field trip to explore rare primary sources. These form the basis of presentations which are organized into an academic symposium run by the students themselves.