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SEL1023 : Transformations

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Anne Whitehead
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Many literary texts, across all historical periods of study, have points of reference in classical or pre-medieval literature. This module therefore introduces first-year students to key texts from this period to equip them with knowledge of essential cultural landmarks that will inform their study of literature and film in stages 2 and 3. The module considers the ways in which the pre-medieval texts studied have been adapted by subsequent writers, playwrights and film-makers. Students are asked to read across the pre-medieval text and its later adaptations, and to reflect on the various modes of 'transformation' that the original has undergone. The module also introduces students to how transformations of the conditions of literary production and consumption can change what people do with texts.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover one text per week in two lectures, one reading group and one seminar.

The introductory weeks will consider various modes of textual transformation, eg the advent of print or film, and how new modes of textuality have changed what people do with texts.

The remainder of the module will be grouped around three pre-medieval texts which have been particularly influential in English Literature, such as 'Genesis', Homer's 'Odyssey' or Ovid's 'Metamorphosis'. The first week of each textual cluster will focus on the pre-medieval text and the following two weeks will look at two subsequent adaptations of that text.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1110:00110:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops30:201:00Small group sessions preparing for assignments and engaging with feedback
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00These workshops offer additional support to students on QV38 undertaking a creative assessment optio
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity121:0012:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce the students to the knowledge outcomes as listed.

Seminars develop this knowledge further and provide a structured learning space where students practise the skills of close textual analysis, critical debate and the evaluation of critical positions.

Between the lectures and the seminar students will participate in a self-directed study group where they will discuss topics relevant to the module and respond to set readings.

On three occasions during the module, these study groups will meet with their seminar tutor for workshops with an intensive focus on assessment and feedback.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70open book exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M30Written Assignment of 1,250 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination will test students' knowledge of the pre-medieval texts and how they have been adapted or transformed. As other stage one modules are examined by submitted work, a formal examination will provide a diversity of methods of assessment.

The written exercise will ask students to consider transformations of the Ovid texts in relation to either issues of translation, or the medium of transformation (text, performance, or film). They will perform a close reading of their chosen text in relation to these issues, or complete a creative submission.

Reading Lists