Module Identifier EN35420  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Claire E Jowitt  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 essays (2,500 words each)100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate an informed awareness of the ways in which racial, religious, national and/or gender identities were constructed and contested in the early modern period;

2. describe and assess the ways in which a range of early modern texts from a variety of genres contribute to and participate in these processes;

3. articulate this understanding in the form of a reasoned critical analysis of particular texts;

4. explain and engage with relevant aspects fo recent critical and/or theoretical debates about the texts studied.

Brief description

A central concern of this module is to question concepts of Early Modern Identities. Notions of fixed or pre-given identities are challenged as they are figured in discourses of colonial exploration, 'race', religion, gender and sexuality. By focusing on questions of power, and representations of 'Self' and 'Other' within an early modern historical context, it is aimed to expose and explore the way in which these identities are constructed. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of texts including film, drama, pamphlet debates, voyage narratives, autobiographies and philosophical treatises.



1 Whose Life is it Anyway? Identity on Trial
Text: The Return of Martin Guerre (film, 1982)

2 Splitting Images: Early Modern Bodies
Texts: Rene Descartes, Discourse Upon Method and the Mediations (1637); John Donne, "The Extasie"; Andrew Marvell, "A Dialogue Between Soul and Body"

3 Colonial Identity and Competition for Empire
Text: J.M. Cohen (ed.) The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus

4 Colonized Identity
Text: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave (1688)

5 Constructing Others: 'Race' and Sexuality
Text: John Fletcher, 'The Island Princess' (1619: supplied Xerox)

6 Race and Religion
Text: Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (1591)

7 Performing Gender (i)
Text: William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night (1602)

8 Performing Gender (ii)
Text: Middleton and Dekker, The Roaring Girl (1611)

9 Performing Gender (iii)
Text: Hic Mulier: Or the Man-Woman and Haec Vir: Or the Womanish Man (1620: supplied Xerox)

10 Dangerous Liaisons: Same Sex Desire in Early Modern England
Text: Christopher Marlowe, Edward II (1594).
[Note: a showing of Derek Jarman's film Edward II (1991) will be arranged.]

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
John Donne (ed. A.J. Smith) (1982) The Complete English Poems Penguin 0140422099
OR: John Donne (ed. John Carey) (1998) Selected Poems Oxford World's Classics 0192834908
OR: John Donne (1994) Selected Poems Dover Thrift Editions 0486277887
Andrew Marvell (ed. Elizabeth Story Donno) (1972) The Complete Poems Penguin 0140422137
OR: Andrew Marvell (1997) 'To His Coy Mistress' and Other Poems Dover Thrift Editions 0486295443

Rene Descartes (trans. F. E. Sutcliffe) (2001) Discourse Upon Method and The Meditations Penguin 0140442065
OR: William Shakespeare Complete Plays any edition: Arden recommended
OR: Christopher Marlowe (1998) Doctor Faustus and Other Plays Oxford World's Classics 0192834452
Donne: Any edition of the poetry that includes 'The Ecstasy' is acceptable: see below
Marvell: Any edition of the poetry that includes 'A Dialogue Between Soul and Body' is acceptable: see below
J.M. Cohen (ed. and trans.) (1969) The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus Penguin 0140442170
Aphra Behn (ed. Joanna Lipking) (1997) Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave W. W. Norton 0393970140
Christopher Marlowe (2003) The Complete Plays Penguin 0140436332
William Shakespeare Twelfth Night (any edition)
Thomas Middleton et al. (ed. James Knowles) (2001) The Roaring Girl and Other City Comedies Oxford World's Classics 0192828002
** Recommended Consultation
Francis Barker (1984) The Tremulous Private Body Methuen
Mark Breitenberg (1996) Anxious Masculinity in Early Modern England Oxford University Press
Celia Daileader (1998) Eroticism on the Renaissance Stage Oxford University Press
Lucy Gent and Nigel Llewellyn (eds.) (1990) Renaissance Bodies: The Human Figure in Renaissance Culture 1540-1660 Reaktion Books
Michel Foucault (1976) The Will to Knowledge: The History of Sexuality Volume 1 Penguin
Stephen Greenblatt (1991) Marvellous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World Clarendon Press
Peter Stallybrass (ed.) (1991) Staging the Renaissance: Reinterpretations of Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama Routledge
Lawrence Stone (1979) The Family, Sex and Marriage Penguin


This module is at CQFW Level 6