SEL2219 : Monsters, Misery & Miracles: Heroic Life in Old English Poetry
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Niamh Kehoe-Rouchy
- Lecturer: Dr Adam Mearns
- Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
This module introduces students to the poetry of the Anglo-Saxons in its original language, thereby allowing them to study the very beginnings of literature in English. Old English poetry covers a wide range of genres, including wisdom literature, religious verse, heroic and elegiac poetry, and innuendo-laden riddles. The module will explore literature that negotiates between the Germanic, heroic, Christian, and quotidian cultures that pervaded the age and were especially relevant to the North of England.
Outline Of Syllabus
This module will focus on three main texts in their original language. It will start by examining the earliest dream poem in English, instrumental in establishing the conventions for describing religious experience, The Dream of the Rood. This will be followed by a deeply moving poem about loss and loneliness, The Wanderer. Finally, the module will examine one of the greatest poems about heroes, monsters, and warfare, Beowulf.
Students will situate these texts in their literary contexts by reading a wider range of other Old English poetry in translation. Students will also develop an understanding of key features of the Old English language, which will enable them to create their own translations of these texts. In doing so, they will have the opportunity to examine and reflect on their own poetic impulses.
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||70:00||70:00||Reading and translation|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||11||1:00||11:00||Linguistic, literary, and historical background|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||1||83:00||83:00||Reading and translation|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||11||1:00||11:00||Literary analysis of set texts in their literary contexts|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Workshops||11||1:00||11:00||Translation of set texts|
|Guided Independent Study||Student-led group activity||11||1:00||11:00||Study Groups|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Drop-in/surgery||3||1:00||3:00||Group sessions or one to one drop in sessions|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Lectures introduce students to the contexts of the texts they will study in workshops and seminars, including linguistic and literary background. Workshops provide guidance and support for the translation of the core texts and an opportunity to consider the creative processes involved in producing poetry of this kind. Small group teaching seminars develop the topics of the lectures and enable the practice of skills, namely close textual analysis, critical thinking, literary, oral, written, and interpersonal communication, and the synthesis and presentation of textual material.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Essay||1||A||75||3,000 word essay|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The mid-module exam will ask students to choose from a selection of passages of text in Old English, extracted from the core texts, and to write a close commentary on their chosen passage.
The end of module essay will ask students to write a comparative piece comparing at least two different texts.
Offering a mix of modes of assessment (close reading of Old English, comparative/contextual analysis, and a reading of a single text) and ensuring good coverage of the texts on the module, the assessments will focus students upon detailed aspects of the material in terms that connect their ideas with the module’s broader thematic content.