Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Women's Poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1400-1800
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 2  3000 Words  60%
Semester Assessment Essay 1  2000 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2  3000 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1  2000 Words  40%

Learning Outcomes

​​Demonstrate a critical understanding of the module’s relationship with feminism and gender studies in their broadest senses and in relation to Welsh, Scottish and Irish studies (Celtic Studies).

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the module’s relationship with archipelagic criticism.

Identify and discuss in a critical manner the dominant literary and historical patterns and their implications for women’s poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, both generally and in relation to individual poems.

Be able to locate and discuss in depth individual female poets from Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1400–1800 in their relevant historical and literary contexts.

Be able to critically appraise the work of individual poets, as well as the themes and genres of individual poems, in depth.

Be able to identify and critically appraise the comparative dimension of themes, genres and general patterns in the poetry of women in Ireland, Scotland and Wales in depth.

Brief description

This module ensures that a suite of theories have a place in the department’s teaching portfolio: feminism and gender studies, and archipelagic criticism. As such, the module not only allows students to apply the theoretic framework to the poetic texts studied, but will also stimulate them to reassess the poetic canons of Ireland, Scotland and Wales 1400–1800. The module’s chronology offers students an opportunity to read and analyze Medieval and Early Modern texts, and to identify patterns in the diction, genres and themes of Welsh, Irish and Scottish women poets. In this respect, the module is, indeed, concerned with questions of gender, but it is also concerned with questions of national comparison and contrast.

The module focuses on a crucial period in the history of women’s poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales with regard to its transmission and development in oral, manuscript and print media, alongside a burgeoning public sphere and literary marketplace. Introductory lectures will discuss factors such as socio-economic contexts of women poets and the tensions between professionalism and amateurism. The module is structured according to genres/themes in order to cut across chronological, national and linguistic boundaries and encourage students to engage with the interactions across the three nations.


Context: feminism and gender studies (European and Anglo-American framework); contextualize the module in women’s studies within Welsh, Irish and Scottish literary studies and its impact on the respective literary canons of the three nations (particularly with respect of the indigenous languages); discuss the arguments for a discrete module such as this, rather than a thematic or period-specific module that mainstreams women’s poetry. Question the validity of the concept of a ‘female tradition’ in all three national literatures; sketch general patterns such as the obstacles that women poets faced (domestic expectations, socio-economic constraints; education and literacy; the nature of the indigenous poetic traditions), training and amateur/professional status of women poets; poetic authority and authorial voice.

Voices, themes and genres of women’s poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales (textual analysis):

‘Elegy’: mother’s laments; national differences such as the politicized elegy in Ireland (the keen) and Jacobite Scotland.

‘Love and relationships’: love poetry; erotic verse; friendship poetry.

‘Religious verse’: devotional poetry (private and public spheres); the carol and the hymn (public sphere, congregational); dynamics of Catholicism / Protestant Reformation / Counter Reformation / Nonconformity.

A selection of poems by women in Welsh, Irish, and Scottish Gaelic will be read under each theme. Texts and translations will be provided.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written: clear articulation of ideas and analysis in written assignments. Verbal: class contribution and interaction with peers, although the verbal element is not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Development of skills such as managing workload, effective time management, and undertaking independent research.
Information Technology For research purposes (essays); word-processing. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources; accessing Blackboard for course materials
Personal Development and Career planning Development of skills such as managing workload, effective time management, and undertaking independent research.
Problem solving By critical engagement (verbal and written) with intellectual concepts raised by the historical context and specific texts.
Research skills Through independent research for written assessment (essays) and verbal contribution in class. Using electronic research and bibliographic resources.
Subject Specific Skills By developing competence to read and understand medieval and early modern texts in their cultural and national contexts, thus learning more about the shared culture of the Celtic languages.
Team work Contributions to group discussions in lectures.


This module is at CQFW Level 6