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SEL3391 : Women on Trial: Gender, Power, and Performance in Shakespeare's England (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Emma Whipday
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 48 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module explores performances of gender and power on the early modern stage, page, and street. On this drama-centred module, we will study professional theatre and 'closet drama', as well as street literature and court records. We focus on women as subjects, translators, and performers of drama. We will explore how gender and power are represented and negotiated across a range of performance spaces: theatres, law courts, marketplaces, scaffolds, taverns, country houses, and at court.

Outline Of Syllabus

We will study up to five plays from the professional stage. Indicative examples are Measure for Measure, A Woman Killed with Kindness, and Arden of Faversham. We will also look at one or more closet dramas, such as The Tragedie of Iphigenia, and a range of other texts that imagine, prompt, or record some sort of performance. These may be popular ballads, news pamphlets, printed trial accounts, masques, or court records.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading199:0099:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Performance Workshops
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00Film and production screenings as online 'watch parties'
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Assessment Workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Assessment drop in
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity81:008:00Collaborative 'study group' work on the structured learning tasks.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures present the module concepts and contexts and clarify and explain unfamiliar material. Students respond to these ideas and draw on their own reading in small-group seminar work and in peer-led study groups. The performance workshops offers a hands-on opportunity for students to experiment with the performance practices they have identified in their texts. The film screenings offer examples of how other directors and companies have staged and performed the module texts. The assessment workshop enables students to receive guidance on mid-semester assessments and then work on their assessments in a supportive environment.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20750 word close-reading exercise
Essay1A702750 words; evaluative essay
Prof skill assessmnt1A10500 word log of participation and engagement
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MStudents complete structured learning tasks in their study groups, and receive feedback prior to the mid-module assessment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-module offers students a chance to focus on the text of the early modern sources; the essay offers an opportunity to conceptualise a wider argument which addresses the themes of the module. The structured learning tasks give students the opportunity to test ideas and receive feedback. Participation and engagement assesses students’ involvement in the course, from participation in study groups and online discussion groups to involvement in collaborative and individual performance-based activities.

Reading Lists