Monstrous Middle Ages
The Monstrous Middle Ages 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 1
What did it mean to be monstrous in the Middle Ages? Monstrosity is bound up with questions of body image, deformity, hybridity and horror. This module examines the different kinds of monstrosity – from monsters such as werewolves, dragons, and The Devil, to the monstrous behaviour to which humans are subject – in order to explore the ways in which monstrosity shaped the construction of gender and sexual identity, religious devotion, and social prejudice in the later Middle Ages. The texts studied in seminar, alongside medieval and contemporary theories of the monstrous, offer opportunity to consider the ways in which travel writing, romance, fabliaux, saints lives, and drama contributed to the engagement with monstrosity in the rich textual culture of the later Middle Ages.
The texts studied on this module are done so in dialogue with medieval and contemporary theories of the monstrous. The works covered on the module offer opportunity to consider the ways in which travel writing, romance, fabliaux, saints lives, and drama contributed to the engagement with monstrosity in the rich textual culture of the later Middle Ages.
-threshold -Typically, work graded D- to D+ (or 40 to 49) will show many of the following qualities: • Unsure and lacking in confidence when discussing ideas • Referring to the subject in question in a superficial manner • Making an effort to provide fairly balanced answers • Some points in the argument irrelevant to the topic • Little evidence of background reading • Some uncertainty over language and syntax • Strengths and weaknesses fairly balanced; occasionally clumsy and unimaginative • In creative work: superficial • Not succeeding in mastering the requirements of the medium
-good -Typically, work graded B- to B+ (or 60 to 69) will show many of the following qualities: • Discusses ideas adeptly • Most of the arguments about a specific field are well-aired • Displays knowledge of the subject in question; the answer is relevant • Shows analytical and clear thought • Gives evidence of relevant reading • Shows accuracy in expression with mastery over language. • A few minor errors here and there. • Signs of creative thought deserve a higher position within the class • In creative work: shows signs of originality, having understood the requirements of the medium • Plans of well-balanced and full answers, despite some gaps
-excellent -Typically, work graded A- to A** (or 70 to 100) will show many of the following qualities:• Discusses ideas with confidence and precision • Demonstrates maturity and sophistication • Displays deep knowledge of the subject in question; the answer is totally relevant • Shows independent, analytical and clear thought • Gives evidence of substantial and relevant reading • Shows great accuracy in expression, displaying total mastery over all aspects of the language • Shows occasional signs of brilliance and originality of thought • In creative work: displays considerable originality • Command over medium; may have potential for publication/production
- Analyse, interpret and evaluate the literary quality of the Middle English texts studied on the module.
- Communicate individual research effectively via oral and visual means.
- Make use of online databases of late medieval texts, developing both IT and critical skills in the process.
- Relate the texts studied on the module to medieval attitudes to monstrosity.
- Select and organise material to produce a consistent and coherent written argument to a deadline.
Presentation examining the ways in which the subject matter and the written strategies of one text from the first part of the module engages with monstrosity.
2000 word essay examining the subject matter and the written strategies of texts exploring monstrosity studied on the second part of the module.