Module Catalogue 2021/22

SEL3392 : Between the Acts: English Theatre, 1660-1737

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr James Harriman-Smith
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

There are no prerequisites for this module, although any theatre studies or eighteenth-century culture modules would be good preparation for it.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

None

Aims

This module aims to:
(i) inform students about the evolution of the English stage between 1660 and 1737;
(ii) enable students to connect historical cultural issues to contemporary concerns;
(iii) improve students’ ability to make use of a wide range of sources (including archives and live performances) as a basis for persuasive argument;
(iv) improve students’ ability to present literary material in a variety of formats.

Outline Of Syllabus

Eight decades fundamentally reshaped English theatre: the first professional actresses performed, the first celebrities emerged, Shakespeare became a national icon, government censorship took on modern forms, and plays began to be published in scholarly editions. This module will introduce you to the period 1660 to 1737, with a focus not only on the wide variety on drama produced at this time (everything from tragedies and comedies to burlesques and pantomimes), but also on the people who made such drama possible. As you acquire a familiarity with this little-known period, you will have the chance to introduce others to it by contributing to a collection of online introductions to plays by seventeenth-century women: these introductions will both compensate for a biais towards male authors in the modern study of this period and offer an opportunity of learning how to share scholarship in an accessible format with a wide audience.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

To complete the module successfully, you will be required to demonstrate, both in your written work and in your oral contributions to seminars:
1. An understanding of the historical and cultural contexts in which the module texts were written, performed and read;
2. An understanding of how drama and writing about the theatre at this time explored key issues of the period;
3. The ability to discern core material, stylistic and thematic elements of the texts and performances studied, and to use such elements as the basis for contrasts and comparisons;
4. The ability to evaluate contemporary and current critical positions on the texts and performances studied.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By module’s end,Students on SEL3392 will be able to:
1. Describe the historical and cultural contexts in which the module texts were written, performed and read;
2. Explain how drama and writing about the theatre explored key issues of the time and of today;
3. Analyse stylistic, thematic and material elements of sources;
4. Build convincing arguments from the results of their analysis;
5. Evaluate contemporary critical positions and defend their own.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Weekly lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion84:0032:00Website preparation and composition for mid-module assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion138:0038:00End-of-module essay preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading118:0088:00Weekly reading for lectures and seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching122:0024:00Weekly seminars
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity41:004:00Study group work for the second half of the module
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time21:002:00Website construction tutorials
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to knowledge outcomes relevant to the module. They address themes and techniques common to the authors studied and encourage the students to think comparatively.

The seminars allow both for the development of knowledge outcomes through close analysis of specified texts and performances, and for the practice of skills, especially oral presentation and interpersonal communication.

Between the lectures and the seminars, and during the first half of the semester, students will be required to work in groups on websites devoted to individual plays from the period 1660-1714. Tutorials and other activities will provide the necessary training for this. The finished websites will then be assessed, as detailed below.

In the second half of the semester, study groups will be formed to undertake tasks intended to help preapre for the end-of-module assessment.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M35Assessed website: see rationale for details.
Essay1A65A keyword-based essay of 2 500 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MRequired webpages: see rationale for details.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Website:
Contributing to a group website on a little-known play from this period will test students' ability to present historical theatrical material to a wide audience in an online format. This assessment breaks down into three tasks, which all students must undertake:
(1) The composition of a webpage on a set topic (for example, a plot summary of their group’s play) – this is the formative assessment ‘Written Exercise 1’;
(2) The composition of a webpage on a topic of the student’s choice to do with their group’s play – this is part of the summative ‘Portfolio 1’ assessment;
(3) The integration of the student’s webpage and those of the rest of their group into a website about their group’s play – this is part of the summative ‘Portfolio 1’ assessment. Where appropriate & only with prior agreement from the module leader, an additional individual contribution may replace this element.

Essay: This module’s final assessment will take the form of a long essay (2 500 words), in which students will need to make use of all the skills they have practised in particular weeks on their websites to write in response to a keyword and with reference to multiple module set texts/performances.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.