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Module

HIS2301 : Communication in the Medieval World, from Europe to Asia: Prayer, Poetry, Pictures, and Travel

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nicola Clarke
  • Lecturer: Ms Anne Redgate, Dr Philip Garrett
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module will approach key themes in the medieval history of Europe and the Middle East through the motif of communication. By investigating the context and content of medieval communication, we will be able explore a range of social, political and religious relationships: within families and communities, between rulers and ruled, between past and present, and between the temporal and spiritual worlds. While much of the communication discussed will be accessed through primary source texts, there will be an important place in the module for visual material (art, buildings, objects), and for sources that span the textual/physical divide (such as descriptions of ritual). The module will also seek to unpick notions of the medieval world as static, unchanging, and monocultural, by looking at the movement of ideas and people, emphasizing networks of knowledge and cross-cultural connections.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics that may be covered include:

•       communication and legitimacy: coins, proclamations, inscriptions, monuments
•       communication as performance: poetry, drama, sermons
•       communication and identity: foundation myths and tales of the ancestors
•       communication and religion: prayer, ritual, commemoration
•       communication and travel: trade routes, pilgrimage, migration
•       communication and knowledge: translation, education, language, advice books
•       communication, family, community: reputation, law, wills, letters

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 ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:00Reading, planning, and writing essays
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials91:009:00Online structured reading exercises surrounding lecture materials and other reading.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading801:0080:00Preparation for small group teaching
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:00Wider reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time31:003:00Drop-in surgeries to help with preparation of assessments; 2hrs of this in final week.
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

SEMINARS encourage independent study and promote improvements in oral presentation, interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills, research skills and adaptability.

LECTURES enable students to gain a wider sense of historical argument and debate and how such debates operate, which also allows them to develop comparisons between different historiographical debates.

STRUCTURED ONLINE EXERCISES: Students will be provided with lecture materials and other readings in various formats, with questions to work through in response to the materials.

SURGERY TIME: Staff will make themselves available for three hours over the course of the module to see students individually or in groups on issues concerning them, although we expect this will focus on preparation for assessments. This is addition to standard office hours.

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
Essay2M401500 words (incl. footnotes but not bibliography)
Essay2M602000 words (incl. footnotes but not bibliography)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2M500 word source commentary
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining the student’s progress.
2. Summative assessment tests knowledge outcomes and develops skills in research and reading.
3. Formative assessment will take the form of one documentary commentary of 500 words, to give students a chance to explore a piece of primary evidence in depth.
3. The summative work will take the form of two essays; titles will be provided to students on Canvas. The second essay receives a higher weighting to reflect the fact that students will have greater familiarity with the module material, and will have benefitted from feedback on the first essay to improve their skills and approach for the second.

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