Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
21st-Century Medievalisms
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (5,000 words)  100%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (5,000 words)  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate a thorough understanding of a range of medievalisms.

Analyse the cultural work accomplished by 21st-century texts that take their inspiration from medieval texts and culture.

Engage with relevant theoretical approaches as appropriate.

Discuss examples of medievalism in a critically-informed, focussed, and structured manner.

Brief description

This module explores a range of 21st-century texts that take their inspiration from medieval texts and culture. From Seamus Heaney’s oft-discussed translation of ‘Hwæt’ into ‘So’ in his Beowulf to Kazuo Ishiguro’s imagining of a post-Arthurian time of peace between Britons and Saxons, the Middle Ages have fostered a range of 21st-century medievalisms that articulate and explore the value and relevance of the medieval for early 21st-century culture and society. Between Heaney and Ishiguro, our journey through these medievalisms will have us accompany King Arthur to the gates of Rome, join a group of American tourists in Burma, witness a single mother struggle to raise her son in the hills above a US town, and get to know a range of British people—both contemporary and imagined-medieval—try desperately to negotiate the vagaries of life. These 21st-century medievalisms illustrate the continued currency and relevance of the Middle Ages, and in doing so they challenge us to reassess our beliefs and expectations.


Week 1: Introduction (What is medievalism and what can we do with it?)

Week 2: Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf

Week 3: Simon Armitage’s Death of King Arthur

Week 4: Fflur Dafydd’s The White Trail

Week 5: Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant

Week 6: Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife

Week 7: Amy Tan’s Saving Fish from Drowning

Week 8: Marilyn Nelson’s The Cachoeira Tales and Peter Ackroyd’s The Clerkenwell Tales

Week 9: James Meek’s To Calais, in Ordinary Time

​Week 10: Review and Assessment Advice

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written: by expressing ideas in coherent ways. Oral: through class discussion and small group activities.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through independent and directed research and reading. By engaging with assessment feedback in order to raise attainment.
Information Technology By using word processing packages, using AberLearn Blackboard and other electronic resources, submitting assignment’s via Turnitin.
Personal Development and Career planning Through developing critical self-reflection and the development of transferable, ICT, communication and research skills
Problem solving By evaluative analysis and the use of critical skills.
Research skills By directed and independent research and the synthesizing of information in critically-evaluative ways.
Subject Specific Skills Through the reading, writing and researching skills involved in the study of language change. Through the use of and understanding language change for analyses of literary texts.
Team work Students will have the opportunity to work in teams for some group activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 7