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Module

SEL3392 : Between the Acts: English Theatre, 1660-1737

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

Aims

This module aims to:
(i) inform students about the evolution of the English stage between 1660 and 1737;
(ii) enable students to connect historical cultural issues to contemporary concerns;
(iii) improve students’ ability to make use of a wide range of sources (including archives and live performances) as a basis for persuasive argument;
(iv) improve students’ ability to present literary material in a variety of formats.

Outline Of Syllabus

In the course of twelve weeks, we will examine both a variety of dramatic productions (tragedies and comedies, but also pantomimes, burlesques, satires and more) as well as writing about performance (the first English acting manuals, early theatre reviews, and legal and business records about the stage). Key module themes will include: celebrity, gender, passion, patriotism, morality, and genre. Although specific course contents will vary from year to year, the following authors may well be studied on this module: Aphra Behn, John Dryden, George Farquhar, Henry Fielding, Delarivier Manley and Mary Pix.

Where possible, this module will include a trip to an eighteenth-century theatre.

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
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials201:0020:00Video lectures and associated exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Mid-module preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00End-of-module preparation and completion
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities21:002:00Academic writing for the web activities
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00Set reading of primary and secondary sources
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:303:00Wordpress training
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Assignment clinics
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion121:0012:00Group discussion of each week's theme
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture materials introduce students to knowledge outcomes relevant to the module. They address themes and techniques common to the authors studied and encourage the students to think comparatively.

The seminars allow both for the development of knowledge outcomes through close analysis of specified texts and performances, and for the practice of skills, especially oral presentation and interpersonal communication. Online discussion boards will help students prepare for the seminars.

Between the lecture and the seminar, and during the first half of the semester, students will be required to work in groups on blogs devoted to individual plays from the period 1660-1714. Workshops and other activities will provide the necessary training for this. The finished blogs will then be assessed, as detailed below.

Finally, drop-in sessions will be held near to the deadline for each assignment for students to receive individually tailored help with their blog contributions and essays.

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
Portfolio2M30Assessed blog: see rationale for details.
Essay2A70A keyword-based essay of 2 500 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MRequired blogposts: see rationale for details.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Blog:
Contributing to a group blog on a little-known play from this period will test students' ability to present historical theatrical material to a wide audience in an online format. This assessment breaks down into three tasks, which all students must undertake:
(1) The composition of a blogpost on a set topic (for example, a plot summary of their group’s play) – this is the formative assessment ‘Written Exercise 1’;
(2) The composition of a blogpost on a topic of the student’s choice to do with their group’s play – this is part of the summative ‘Portfolio 1’ assessment;
(3) The integration of the student’s blogposts and those of the rest of their group into a website about their group’s play – this is part of the summative ‘Portfolio 1’ assessment.

Essay: This module’s final assessment will take the form of a long essay (2 500 words), in which students will need to make use of all the skills they have practised in particular weeks on their blogs to write in response to a keyword and with reference to multiple module set texts/performances.

Reading Lists

Timetable