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Module

SEL3100 : Other Renaissances: Gender, Race and Sexuality in Early Modern Culture

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

Aims

This course will focus on the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and other identity categories in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature. Drawing on current debates about the politics of race, gender and sexuality, and using theories of intersectionality, we will examine how this crucial period in literary history engaged with and represented differences between people and cultures.

We will learn about Renaissance perceptions of identity, and consider how the Renaissance might inform our own cultural understanding of multiple subject positions. We will both ask how influential authors like William Shakespeare depicted difference, and seek for traces of 'other' voices and points of view in drama, poetry and prose texts by male and female authors.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will interweave the study of texts produced in the early modern period with engagement with writings on race, gender, sexuality and intersectionality by C20th and C21st critics and commentators. Students will be encouraged both to explore those sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts in relation to current issues, and to reflect on how studying the past can deepen our understanding of the world we inhabit.

In 2020-21, early modern texts are likely to include:
- a selection of poetry exploring ideas about race, gender, desire, and 'queer' sexualities;
- John Lyly's play Galatea, which stages gender nonconformity and lesbian love;
- William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra;
- Elizabeth Cary's play The Tragedy of Mariam, whose Jewish heroine challenges patriarchal power;
- John Fletcher, The Island Princess, which explores the relationship between gender, Islam, and colonialism;
- Mary Rowlandson's autobiographical account of being taken prisoner by Native Americans;
- Aphra Behn's novella, Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave.

Final decisions about primary texts will be made nearer the time of teaching in order to take advantage of any productions of relevant plays.

Readings in contemporary scholarly and activist writings by black, queer and feminist authors will also be assigned.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable