Music,poetry, and Society At the Late Medieval French Court (HIH3531)
|Lecturer(s)||Dr Yolanda Plumley|
|Pre-requisites||Normally 15 credits of History at level 1 or 2.|
|Duration of Module||One term|
|Total Student Study Time||300 hours, including 24 hours of lectures and seminars|
This module explores cultural production, in particular music and literature but also visual culture, in fourteenth-century France. This was a period of political and social turmoil
Intended learning outcomes
Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of cultural life at the late medieval French court, and a close knowledge of selected works and their significance within the broader political, social and cultural context in which they were produced.
Employ analytic and critical skills within an interdisciplinary field of study, and to engage with cultural, social and historical issues as they affected artistic production in this period.
Personal and key skills
Study independently and collaboratively, including the presentation of material for group discussion; skill in finding information and using it imaginatively and with discrimination; precision, cogency and confidence in self-expression both orally and in writing; ability to produce to a deadline a coherent and cogent assignment.
Learning and teaching methods
Lectures provide a spine of ideas and information which will be a key component of the students' learning experience. They form a basis upon which students can build their own interpretations and ideas in the seminars. Seminar work comprise discussions of particular topics relating to the subject matter of the module and student presentations on particular topics, developing students' teamwork and oral skills.
Two essays of 3,000 words each, and two group seminar presentations, each being 20 - 25 minutes in duration.
Each of the two 3,000-word essays will count as 25% of the overall assessment for the module, provided that both essays are submitted on time: otherwise penalties will apply. The first will be returned with comments before submission of the second. Neither essay may be revised after return. Finally, a two-hour unseen examination in May/June, in which two questions will be answered, will form 50% of the overall assessment for the module.
The module explores cultural production at the French courts through selected texts from the literary and musical repertory within the context of some of the key points in the political and social history of fourteenth-century France. Topics include: the social function of courtly poetry and music in late middle ages; the arts at the court of France in the early fourteenth century; image, music, and text in the Fauvel manuscript and corruption at court; the beginning of the Hundred Years War; Guillaume de Machaut, his career and royal patrons; debate poems and songs from 1340s and 50s, the Black Death and political crisis; the author and the book: manuscript production in Paris; political songs from the 1380s-90s and the role of heraldry; the ascendancy of the dukes of Berry and Burgundy in the reign of Charles VI and their cultural patronage; life at court at the end of the fourteenth century.
Indicative basic reading list
(A more detailed reading list will be given at the beginning of the course)
W. Apel, ed., French Secular Compositions of the Fourteenth Century. Vol. 53/i-iii (Rome, 1972)
R. Barton Palmer, ed., Guillaume de Machaut: The Judgment of the King of Navarre (New York and London, 1988) [edition with translation and introduction]