Medieval Arthur 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 1
This module explores Arthurian myths and legends from their potential inception in the sixth century through to the end of the Middle Ages, paying attention to the way the story was shaped in different centuries, socio-political contexts, and material culture. Insular (Britain and Ireland) and Continental traditions will be placed in their manuscript and print culture, including visual culture, and an investigation of the effect of modern scholarly editing on the reception of medieval texts will also be part of the module. Texts covered will include, but not be limited to, Welsh and 'Celtic' myth, the stories in the Mabinogion, medieval romance in Latin, Old and Anglo-Norman French, Middle English, and other European languages (studied in translation as necessary), chronicles, and other types of narratives, including prophecy, letter writing and historical documents. Postgraduates on the MA in Arthurian Literature will gain a solid foundation for the continuation of their course, while students from other programmes who choose this module as an option will gain an insight into the origins and development of Arthurian themes in early literature. There will be ample time during the semester for the postgraduates to shape and develop their own enquiries of the subject. Students will benefit from the extensive resources in the Centre for Arthurian Studies, including rare books, online resources, and specialist events.
The module will offer the postgraduates on the MA in Arthurian Literature a solid foundation for the continuation of their course, while giving others (on the MA in English Literature, the MA in Creative Writing, the MA in Medieval Studies or MA Celts), who choose this module as an option, an insight into the origins and development of Arthurian themes in early literature.
-threshold -50-59%A Pass (C) candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities: •A satisfactory level of knowledge, analysis and expression. •Some familiarity with, and understanding of, relevant theoretical issues. •Generally sound organisation of argument, with some critical ability. •Accurate expression. •Competent use of quotation and references.
-good -60-69%A (B) candidate’s work reaching Merit will show many of the following qualities: •An advanced level of factual knowledge. •Significant [substantial] knowledge of relevant theories and types of analysis. •Some evidence of original thought. •The ability to organise and argue effectively, make balanced judgements, and demonstrate critical thought. •Fluent and accurate expression. •Competent use of quotation and references.
-excellent -70% and aboveTypically, the work of a (A) candidate reaching Distinction will show many of the following qualities: •Thorough knowledge and understanding of relevant theories and types of analysis. •Thorough knowledge of a range of sources and the capacity to engage these critically. •Introduction and discussion of original ideas. •Relevant, well-organised and sophisticated argument. •High ratio of analysis to exposition. •Maturity, clarity and cogency of expression. •Excellent handling of quotation and references.
- Critically analyse medieval Arthurian texts, myths and legends.
- Critically analyse the concepts and textual discussion of Arthurian myth and legend in the medieval period, and of the conditions in which the texts were produced.
- Evaluate and employ differing critical approaches to medieval texts, including issues of authorship and textual transmission.
- Interpret the interrelationships of text, context, authorship and textual transmission of medieval Arthurian culture and tradition.
A presentation of the student's preliminary research/essay proposal, on a topic previously agreed by the module coordinator, and displaying the student's preparation.