|Module Title||MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE LIVES 1400-1650, RETHINKING "SELF FASHIONING"|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Elisabeth E Salter|
|Other staff||Mrs Carol M Marshall, Dr Elisabeth E Salter|
|Course delivery||Seminars / Tutorials||5 x 2 hour seminars|
2) Personal Lives:
Example of Key Texts. The Paston Letters, The Commonplace Book of Eleanor Hull, Henry Unton's Biographical Portrait
This session will explore a selection of texts including: diaries, letters (eg. Pastons, Celys), commonplace books and portraiture (eg Henry Unton's Biographical Portrait, c.1597). We will discuss the nature of these 'texts' and how they relfect on and represent the experience of daily life. And consider how and why these types of 'life writing' provide evidence for identity, aspiration, and experience. Much of the surviving evidence for personal lives was produced and used by the wealthier / more elite members of medieval and renaissance society. We will therefore begin to address some of the important considerations concerning identity, life, life writing and social status in this period.
3) Performing Lives
Example of Key Texts. William Cornish, Troilus and Pandarus, Anon. Enterlude of Godly Queen Hester, The Monument and Monumental text of John Aunsell
This session will look at two important and contrasting forms of textual evidence for the performance of lives: momuments and pageantry. The first is specifically concerned with the posthumous representation of life; and the second is specifically concerned with performance and the staging of lives. We will examine examples of monuments, for both men and women, to analyse their uses of sign, symbol, text, and image in the process of displaying and representing life, achievement, status and identity. We will examine specific examples of court pageantry, especially that of the Tudor Royal Households, such as for example the William Cornish's Troilus and Pandarus, and The Castle of Esperancea, and other popular interludes such as The Enterlude of Godly Queen Hester, in order to elicit the relationships between dramatic text, performance and the performance of identity. The contrasts between these two forms of evidence for performing lives raise a range of conceptual and theoretical questions which we will discuss.
4) Popular Lives
Example of Key Texts. The Legenda Aurea, John Foxe's Book of Martyrs, The Duchess of Suffolk (Deloney)
This session will examine the surviving evidence for the lives of ordinary medieval and renaissance people both in terms of how they wrote about their own lives ( eg testamentary writing) and also in terms of the kinds of life accounts which were available to them (such as medieval saints' lives, stories about remarkable lives in Foxe's Book of Martyrs and pamphlets about women martyrs eg. 'The Duchess of Suffolk' (Deloney, 1624)). There is plentiful evidence for 'popular lives' in the renaissance allthough it has been relatively overlooked in modern scholarship. We will examine why this is the case and what new research may be undertaken to redress this.
5) Biography and the Historical Novel
Example of Key Texts. Anya Seton, Katherine, Tracey Chevalier, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl, Terry Jones, Medieval Lives
In this session we will employ the knowledge gained in previous seminars (of primary sources and of theoretical approaches) in order to think critically about modern receptions of medieval and renaissance lives and also to think about the writing process in the production of narratives about lives, such as biography. The group will choose two 'texts', one written text and one film/TV production, from the following possibilities: historical novels of two authors, Philippa Gregory whose work is very recent, and Anya Seton who was writing in the 1950s, TV / film productions such as (eg The Other Boleyn Girl (Gregory) and Girl with a Pearl Earring (Chevalier), Terry Jones's Medieval Lives.
The module is organised in five themed sessions, beginning with an introduction to current scholarly debates in this field, followed by four sessions which each consider an important category of evidence for medieval & renaissance lives. In each session we will assess the relative merits of modern critical approaches to this evidence, in order that you will develop your skills in close reading and your own critical position. The fifth session will draw on these skills and on knowledge of the medieval & renaissance evidence in order to critically assess the merits of modern representations of medieval & renaissance lives in writing, TV, and film.
|Problem_solving||Developing analytical techniques and critical skills and by formulating and conducting and extended analytical argument|
|Research skills||Developing skills in the reading and interpretation of medieval and renaissance text; and by developing skills in relating the historical context of production and reception to that interpretation|
|Communication||Group discussion and presentations of findings|
|Improving own Learning and Performance||Independent research|
|Information Technology||Use of EEBO (Early English Books Online)|
|Personal Development and Career planning||Through transferable and communication skills|
|Subject Specific Skills||Detailed critical analysis of literary text alongside other forms of cultural production (image, object); specific skills in analysis of medieval & renaissance evidence|
This module is at CQFW Level 7