Interpreting the Middle Ages (HISM183)
|Staff||Professor Yolanda Plumley - |
|Duration of Module||
Term 1: 11 weeks; |
• To acquire broad knowledge of the sources available in the field of Medieval Studies;
• To develop a deep understanding of the problems of interpretation posed by a variety of genres of evidence;
• To acquire advanced critical skills and analytical methods
• To develop the skills in order to improve critical writing
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of different kinds of sources from the Middle Ages.
- 2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of past and current scholarly debates relating to the Middle Ages.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. Engage critically with a broad range of cultural phenomena, including texts, material artefacts (including manuscripts), institutions, and public discourses.
- 4. Demonstrate understanding of the assumptions on which approaches to cultural analysis are based.
- 5. Argue at length and in detail about aspects of the cultures studied, supporting the argument with textual evidence and engaging with opinions from secondary literature.
- 6. Access, and use critically, printed and, where appropriate, electronic learning resources identified as useful by the course tutors; and find independently and evaluate critically other relevant resources.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Manage own learning time and learning activities, where appropriate with guidance from course tutors.
- 8. Undertake independent research on the basis of a taught course.
- 9. Negotiate individual assessment tasks and/or topics with course tutor(s), identifying own areas of strength and interest.
- 10. Present information and arguments on a designated or negotiated topic to a group of listeners and respond to questions and responses from the group.
- 11. Adopt a critical approach to the selection and organisation of a large body of material in order to produce, to a deadline, a written or oral argument of some complexity.
- 12. Combine a variety of IT skills in researching and reporting on a topic.
Workshops will address a selection of source material within the following three broad strands:
A. Interpreting Social Contexts
[exploring texts that lend insight into secular and religious society in the medieval period; exact topics will vary according to tutor expertise and availability but may include chronicles, charters, legal texts, liturgy, concilia and epistola]
B. Interpreting the Arts
[exploring primary sources that lend insight into cultural and artistic life; these may include artistic, literary and musical works]
C. Interpreting Material Culture
[exploring material objects that lend insight into habits and tastes of medieval society; these may include archaeological objects (e.g. buildings), books, and costume]
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||22||11 x 2 hour seminars|
|Guided independent study||278||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Seminar discussion||Ongoing through course||1-12||Verbal from peers and tutor|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Commentary on a medieval source or set of sources||33||2000 words||1-12||oral and written|
|Essay||67||4000 words||1-12||oral and written|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Commentary on a medieval source or set of sources||Commentary on a medieval source or set of sources||1-12||Referral/deferral period|
|Essay 4000 words||Essay 4000 words||1-12||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
John Arnold, What is Medieval History? (London: Arnold, 2007).
M.T. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record , 2nd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993).
Richard Hoppin, Medieval Music (New York: Norton, 1978).
Hans Robert Jauss, Towards an Aesthetic of Reception (Brighton: Harvester, 1982).
Alastair J. Minnis, and A.B. Scott, Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism c. 1100-c. 1375: The Commentary Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991).
Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London/N.Y.: Methuen, 1982).
Brian Stock, Listening for the Text: On the Uses of the Past (Baltimore/London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990).
Module has an active ELE page?
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Medieval Studies, Middle Ages, Cultural Studies