Module Identifier EN33120  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Diane Watt  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hrs  
Assessment Essay   2 essays (2,500 words each)   100%  
  Resit assessment   Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.    

Brief description
The aim of this module is not only to introduce a selection of early women's literature, but also to examine the often problematic circumstances of its production. A whole spectrum of writing will be considered, from prayers to records of heresy trials.
This module on women, writing and religion in the Middle Ages will begin by examining both the antifeminist tradition and the historical reality of woman's position within medieval society. It will then consider a wide range of Middle English texts, including guides for holy women, saints' lives, visionary writings, personal letters and devotional pieces by and for women. Topics covered will include women and martyrdom, women's masochism, virginity and sexuality, holy anorexia, and the feminization of God. Most of these works are easily accessible in the set texts. The module will be taught in two hour weekly seminars, which will be introduced by seminar papers.

Outline syllabus

Set Texts:
Alexandra Barratt (ed): Women's Writing in Middle English (London, 1992)
Marion Glancoe (ed.), Julian of Norwich: A Revelation of Love (Exeter, 1986)
C H Talbot (edited and translated), The Life of Christina of Markyate (Toronto, 19980
B. A. Windeatt (translated), The Book of Margery Kempe (Harmondsworth, 1985)