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Module

CAC2062 : Death and Dismemberment: Literature in the Age of Nero

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Claire Stocks
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The module will consist of reading a selection of texts from the Neronian Period or texts written about the Neronian period. Such texts may include (but are not limited to) selections from Lucan’s De Bello Ciuili, the tragedies of Seneca, Petronius’ Satyricon, and Tacitus’ Annales. These texts will be sited both within their political context (Rome under a princeps who is the last of the Julio-Claudians, a figure who later acquired legendary status for his decadence and despotism) and their literary context (especially in relation to how these texts negotiate their place within the epic and tragic traditions).

As part of the process for situating these texts within their context, this module will also consider how literature from the Neronian period (together with material culture) can feature in museum exhibitions as one way of engaging a wider audience with this material. As part of the assessment process, students will have the opportunity to work on a portfolio piece that explores how literature from this period can feature within an exhibition space.

Literary, cultural, religious, political and historical issues will be discussed.

This module aims to:
(1) Provide an understanding of the political and literary context of Neronian literature;
(2) Provide an understanding of the key interpretative problems raised in these texts;
(3) Provide an understanding of Neronian writers’ aims;
(4) Develop students' skills of textual interpretation, analysis and problem-solving as applied to Neronian Literature.
(5) Develop students' skills of interpersonal and written communication
(6) Encourage students to think about how to disseminate this information to a wider audience - this will allow them to reflect back upon the central themes within these texts.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following topics will be discussed:
• Historical context
• Key themes in Neronian Literature such as the portrayal of death, dismemberment of body and text, luxury and excess
• Literary context and influences

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
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion821:0082:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials361:0036:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Synchronous online. Small group teaching to offer guidance on assessments
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00Activities via Canvas (and potentially other platforms) to support learning assessment prep.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops71:007:00Synchronous online. Interactive workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Synchronous online. Drop in surgery to discuss project plans, course texts etc.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study461:0046:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops will involve group discussion of the texts and questions designed to prepare students for the assessments. Students will be expected to prepare for workshops and small group sessions by reading/viewing pre-selected material. Students should come to both ready to discuss this materials and their ideas with other students and the course convenor. Drop in sessions provide an opportunity for one-to-one guidance. Structured Guided Learning materials support the course aims and will offer a structured learning approach for students.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A4024 hour take home exam with questions focused on a selection of the texts studied as part of this course.
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CAC3062Death and Dismemberment: Literature in the Age of Nero2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M602500 words (Students create a portfolio project)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The take-home exam assesses the learning outcomes through a combination of detailed comment on passages of text and of essay work on more general issues; the exam format is well suited to assessment of students' skills in both these areas.

The portfolio project will be an opportunity for students to design their own (virtual) exhibition space. Students will be able to choose up to 5x objects for their museum space and assessment will be based upon how they use Neronian literature to present this part of 'the exhibition' to their audience. The written material will be equivalent to the text of an audio guide for the visitor, but for the purposes of assessment will include full referencing (i.e. essay formatting) so that students' demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes of the course in terms of how they use primary evidence and secondary literature. Students may use visual materials, but they will be assessed on the basis of the written material they provide. Guidelines on how the assessment will be marked (in line with existing marking criteria) will be provided. This assessment allows students to look in depth at Neronian literature and how it connects to the Neronian age and cultural context. This is an opportunity for students to explore how texts fit within their context and to explore in greater detail the relationship between literature and the world that produces it.

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