Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Gender in History: the Early Modern Experience
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 3 hour sessions
Seminars / Tutorials Individual 10-minute 'feedback tutorial' per written assignment submitted


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word document analysis  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  25%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2 - 1 x 2,500 word supplementary (resit) essay  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word supplementary (resit) document analysis  10%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour supplementary (resit) examination  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Display an understanding of the development of ideas of gender and sexuality in the early modern period.

Comprehend and assess different historical debates and interpretations evident in related texts, ranging from contemporary sources to recent scholarly works.

Read, analyze and assess a range of different types of historical evidence.

Express understanding and discuss related issues through writing in an academic context.

Work independently and as part of a group and take an active part in group discussions.

Brief description

This course explores how ideas about being a man or a woman were shaped in the 16th and early 17th centuries by the inherited traditions of Biblical and Classical teaching in the universities, in the pulpit and in a growing body of secular works issuing from the printing press or being performed on the stage. The focus will tend to be on England and Wales, and the British Isles and western Europe more generally, with occasional forays across the Atlantic and to other parts of the world for comparative purposes.


This module is taught in ten-three hour seminars. The seminar titles are as follows:

1. Having a body and its consequences
2. Creating a Holy Household?
3. The play 'Henry V' and the early modern military revolution
4. The Taming of the Shrew (and urban/merchant gender relations?)
5. Anne of Denmark and the transition from Elizabethan to Jacobean court culture
6. The figure of Prince Henry, son of James VI & I, and lesser self-fashioned males: Sidney, Essex, Overbury.
7. Joseph Swetnam: a crisis of relations, or mere gender play?
8. Charles I and Henrietta Maria as a perfect marriage?
9. The English Revolution as a crisis in gender relations?
10. Katherine Phillips, Samuel Pepys, Hannah Woolley and Aphra Behn.


Special Subjects provide third-year students with an opportunity to study a particular period in great depth and partly on the basis of primary sources. They are intensively taught, and particularly high standards of precision, creativity and knowledge are expected from students. Together with the dissertation and the general historical problems module, they provide final-year students with an opportunity to demonstrate the maturation of their historical and other skills and of their intellectual sensitivity. The range of special subjects reflects the range of teaching and research interests on the part of departmental staff. As in other core courses, a wide choice of periods and approaches is made available.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Read a wide range of both primary and secondary texts; improve listening skills during the lectures, and consequently develop skills in note taking; demonstrate and develop the ability to communicate ideas in two essays; skills in oral presentation will be developed in seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs; devise and apply realistic learning and self management strategies; devise a personal action plan to include short and long-term goals and to develop personal awareness of how to improve on these.
Information Technology Students will be encouraged to locate suitable material on the web and to access information on CD-Roms and to apply it appropriately to their own work. Students will also be encouraged to word-process their work. These skills will not be formally assessed.
Personal Development and Career planning Develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course in progression; plan and prepare for future course / career.
Problem solving Identify problems and factors which might influence potential solutions; develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving; evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Understand a range of research methods and plan and carry out research; produce academically appropriate pieces of written work.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different sources from the early modern period, including unpublished and published documents; develop the ability to use appropriate historical research tools effectively.
Team work Understand the concept of group dynamics; contribute to the setting of group goals; contribute effectively to the planning of group activities; play an active part in group activities (e.g. short group presentations in seminars); evaluate group activities and own contribution.


This module is at CQFW Level 6