Undergraduate

modules

Modules

HIS2114 : Death, Dying & the Dead in Early Modern England, 1500-1800

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This course is for the living, but is about death and dying in the past. In a series of lectures and seminars, students will be learning about topics of direct relevance to their personal futures. These include: current sociological theories of death and dying; the demography of death; causes of death; theories surrounding the afterlife; notions of what constituted a ‘good death’; bereavement and commemoration; funerals, graveyards and tombstones. The course involves a short field trip to a local church.

This module aims to examine the social history of death and dying in early modern England; to discuss key anthropological and sociological theories that help to explain how they apply to the historical experience of death and dying; to provide an opportunity to acquire a sound general knowledge of the subject, reading widely and critically in the primary and secondary literature associated with it; to develop the capacity for independent study; and to provide an opportunity of investigating in depth selected historical problems, including the appraisal of selected source material and the critical examination of current historiography.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline syllabus, intended as a guide only; week-by-week topics may be slightly different to the following.

Death and dying: a historical sociology; Death meets the statisticians: the awful truth; Causes of death: epidemics, famines and endemic disease patterns ; Purgatory and its abolition: death and the hereafter in England; Good deaths, bad deaths and criminal deaths; Mourning, bereavement and psychological reactions to death; Funerals: Tombstones; The body and its disposal.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture231:0023:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion661:0066:0040% of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading661:0066:0040% of guided indendent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Surgery hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:0020% of guided independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills. They explain historical concepts and set out historical debates and problems. They introduce a range of source material and set out historical debates and problems. They introduce a range of source material and set out and help to evaluate its historical context and worth. Listening and note-taking are practised in lectures. Lectures introduce knowledge and historical concepts that are developed and built on in related weekly workshops and seminars.

Seminars provide students with an opportunity to participate in discussion and thus to improve their oral communication and formal presentational skills.

Field trips are designed to provide the students to experience spaces and places, including those they would be unlikely to have visited independently. These trips, thus allow students to learn in and from a different environment compared to the lecture theatre or the seminar room. The field trips allow students to use relevant observational techniques, to gain insights that can only be gained from spatial experience or the “archive of the feet” and to collect information to inform their studies. Moreover, the visits will enable students to relate the knowledge gained from lectures and independent reading to observations and experiences of the outside world.

Assessment Methods

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1351A75unseen
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M252000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress. The exam tests acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided, and to write clearly and concisely.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

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