Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

CAC3056 : The long shadow of melancholy (Inactive)

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Aims and objectives can be found in the module catalogue www.ncl.ac.uk/internal/module-catalogue:

The module enables students to study an aspect of (ancient) culture, whose repercussions, to this day, are felt in medicine, language, and the arts. The emergence of melancholy as a term and a concept embedded in ancient humoral theory, a pathological concept, a presupposition of geniality, a condition polar to mania (or the umbrella term for both), a temperament, and a receptacle for a variety of mental diseases in ancient and early medieval Greek medicine will be studied, before looking at receptions of these conceptualisations in early modern medicine, philosophy, fiction, and fine art.

The course further aims to:

1. provide students with a sound knowledge of the origins and evolution of the notion of melancholy from Hippocratic times to the time of Paul of Nicaea (7th or 9th cent. AD)
2. provide insight into the ancient conceptualisations of melancholy as a disease
3. familiarise the students with the origins of the discourse about madness and geniality
4. give students some ideas about the long-lasting effects of ancient notions of melancholy in Western tradition
5.develop the students’ skills of analysis, interpretation and evaluation of texts and secondary sources, and further develop their skills of written and oral communication, particularly in seminars.
6. develop the students’ capacity for independent study in independent student study groups and enhance their team spirit.
7. confront students with their own mood swings and encounters with depressed people, and encourage them to think about potential coping mechanisms

Outline Of Syllabus

1. The birth of ‘melancholia’ (black bile) as one of the body’s humours in the Hippocratic treatise On
the Nature of Man and of the disease entity ‘melancholia’ in the Hippocratic treatise Aphorisms
2. The emergence of a nobilitated ‘melancholia generosa’ as the humoural disposition of the genius
in the ps.-Aristotelian Problema 30,1
3. Towards a bipolar disorder: ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Mania’ in Aretaeus of Cappadocia
4. The most celebrated ancient author on melancholy: Rufus of Ephesus
5. How to write an essay and a documentary commentary
6. Towards a melancholic temperament: The contribution of the Corpus Galenicum
7. The systematization of melancholy in the medical encyclopedias of Oribasius, Aetius, and Paul of
Aegina and further developments in Paul Nicaea
8. Receptions of ancient and early medieval notions of melancholy in early modern medicine
9. Receptions of ancient and early medieval notions of melancholy in early modern philosophy
10. Receptions of ancient and early medieval notions of melancholy in early modern fiction and fine art
11. Recap and Questions and Answers

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures: two hours a week conveying the underlying medico-historical framework; seminars: 1 hour per week discussing the lectures and looking at primary source material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A752500 words
Essay1A25Documentary commentary, 1500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will test the student’s ability to research a question set by the lecturer, to critically evaluate the modern scholarship devoted to this question and to present his or her findings concisely. The essay will also test the student’s ability to work towards a deadline and the skills required to meet it (time-management; time-efficient problem solving strategies etc.). The documentary commentary will test the student’s ability to closely read an excerpt of written source material (in English translation) and provide a 21st century (educated) reader with explanatory notes deemed necessary for the quote’s comprehension in its work context and its wider historical context.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable