Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL3093 : Coming of Age in the Renaissance (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


What did it mean to be a child in the Renaissance? to be an adolescent? to cross the threshold from childhood to adulthood? How were all these stages of life represented in literature, and what cultural meanings did they carry? This module aims to explore some possible answers to these questions, and by doing so to reflect on the experience and construction of childhood in the past and in our own time.

Many celebrated examples of Renaissance literature represent child characters or use images of childhood to express and reflect on adult concerns, and considering what adult writers made of childhood is one of the aims of the module. But we will also draw on new and ongoing research on children as readers, writers and makers of culture to investigate how young people themselves made sense of their experiences, and how they perceived and represented the world that adults offered to them.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will map important conceptual and historical debates about the experience and cultural construction of childhood, and will introduce relevant cultural documents and materials that illustrate topics such as Renaissance education, in order to provide a rich and informative context for students' study of literary texts that illuminate our central themes. These texts may vary from year to year, but will typically include plays, poems, and personal writings by young people and adults. Well-known Renaissance authors who produced influential and still-resonant representations of children and childhood include, for instance, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Ben Jonson, and Anne Bradstreet. Texts by youthful authors might include translations and letters written by Tudor royal and aristocratic children; Lady Rachel Fane's personal notebooks and the short plays she wrote to be performed by children in her family in the 1620s; and the poems written as tributes by John Friend's fellow-students when he died at the age of 16 in 1672.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1148:00148:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops162:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision40:151:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops will be structured to include and facilitate a variety of teaching and learning activities appropriate to the intended outcomes of the module.
Small-group activities in some weeks will allow for deeper study of materials and issues addressed in workshops.
Student-led study groups are used to ensure that students are well-prepared for workshops and small-group sessions, and to encourage them to be active and independent learners.
Clinic sessions will provide cohort guidance on assessment and project-related supervision sessions will complement this with individual guidance and feedback.
As for all English Literature modules, extensive independent research and reading under the guidance of the module leader is an essential element of the development of students' knowledge and skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901M25N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A753000 words +/-10%
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MOptional formative assessment exercises will be available before each of the two summative assessment points.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-term exam (to be sat in scheduled workshop time) will offer students an opportunity to draw together the threads of their learning in the first half of the module while practising key skills under pressure of time.
The final paper offers them the opportunity to reflect on the module as a whole and to develop areas of personal interest through guided independent research focused on the module materials.

Reading Lists