Modiwl QXE-3113:
The Monstrous Middle Ages

Ffeithiau’r Modiwl

Rhedir gan School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

20 Credyd neu 10 Credyd ECTS

Semester 2

Trefnydd: Dr Sue Niebrzydowski

Amcanion cyffredinol

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.

Cynnwys cwrs

Typically, the seminars will cover:

  1. Mapping the Monstrous in the later Middle Ages: Introduction
  2. A Taxonomy of Monsters: The Book of John Mandeville
  3. Monstrous Masculinity: Marie de France, Bisclavret
  4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  5. Monstrous Femininity: The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell
  6. READING WEEK
  7. The Book of Margery Kempe
  8. The Alien ‘Other’: Chaucer’s The Man of Law’s Tale and The Prioress’s Tale
  9. The Croxton Play of the Sacrament
  10. Demons and Dragons: Anon, The Life of St Margaret and The Legend of St George
  11. Laughter and the Monstrous: Chaucer, The Miller’s Tale and The Reeve’s Tale
  12. Anon, Mankind

Meini Prawf

trothwy

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

da

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

ardderchog

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

Canlyniad dysgu

  1. On completion of this module a student should be able to: Analyse and interpret Middle English texts.

  2. Participate in the ongoing critical discussion of these texts and their authors, genres, reception and intertextuality.

  3. Identify and make use of ideas and theories relevant to an understanding of the monstrous in Middle English literature.

  4. Select, digest and organise material and produce a consistent and coherent argument, presented in essay form, to a deadline.

  5. Relate the texts to their original literary and cultural contexts.

  6. Make use of online databases of late medieval texts, developing both IT and critical skills in the process.

Dulliau asesu

Math Enw Disgrifiad Pwysau
TRAETHAWD Essay One

Students taking the module must contribute to the work of the seminars, and write two 2,500-word essays during the semester, on which their assessment will be based (50%+50%). Submission of essays: one electronic copy of each essay should be submitted via Turnitin through the module Blackboard page. The first essay is due on Friday in week 6, before 12 noon; the second is due in Week 13 before 12 noon. Provisional marks and feedback on the essays will be available within 3 weeks of the submission date.

50
TRAETHAWD Essay Two

Students taking the module must contribute to the work of the seminars, and write two 2,500-word essays during the semester, on which their assessment will be based (50%+50%). Submission of essays: one electronic copy of each essay should be submitted via Turnitin through the module Blackboard page. The first essay is due on Friday in week 6, before 12 noon; the second is due in Week 13 before 12 noon. Provisional marks and feedback on the essays will be available within 3 weeks of the submission date.

50

Strategaeth addysgu a dysgu

Oriau
Seminar

Weekly seminars in which you will have opportunity to discuss a range of medieval texts and critical reponses to these texts.

22
Study group

Study groups meet once a week for an hour x 11 weeks.

33
Private study

In your private study time you are expected to read the primary texts allocated for each seminar discussion, and relevant critical material.

145

Sgiliau Trosglwyddadwy

  • Llythrennedd - Medrusrwydd mewn darllen ac ysgrifennu drwy amrywiaeth o gyfryngau
  • Hunanreolaeth - Gallu gweithio mewn ffordd effeithlon, prydlon a threfnus. Gallu edrych ar ganlyniadau tasgau a digwyddiadau, a barnu lefelau o ansawdd a phwysigrwydd
  • Archwilio - Gallu ymchwilio ac ystyried dewisiadau eraill
  • Adalw gwybodaeth - Gallu mynd at wahanol ac amrywiol ffynonellau gwybodaeth
  • Sgiliau Rhyngbersonol - Gallu gofyn cwestiynau, gwrando'n astud ar atebion a'u harchwilio
  • Dadansoddi Beirniadol & Datrys Problem - Gallu dadelfennu a dadansoddi problemau neu sefyllfaoedd cymhleth. Gallu canfod atebion i broblemau drwy ddadansoddiadau ac archwilio posibiliadau
  • Dadl - Gallu cyflwyno, trafod a chyfiawnhau barn neu lwybr gweithredu, naill ai gydag unigolyn neu mewn grwˆp ehangach

Sgiliau pwnc penodol

  • The ability to read, understand and summarise written texts in the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.3, 5.4)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources in the target language and/or English or Welsh (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
  • Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
  • The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly both independently and/or as part of a team. (Benchmark statement 5.15).
  • The ability to comprehend, critically engage with and apply relevant theoretical concepts to materials being studied. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas and arguments in presentations, classroom discussions and debates. (Benchmark statement 5.14, 5.16)
  • Skills in the critical reading and analysis of literary and/or musical and/or filmic texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)

Adnoddau

Goblygiadau o ran adnoddau ar gyfer myfyrwyr

Students will need to purchase *Sir Gawain and the Green Knight* (any Middle English edition such as W. R. J. Barron, ed., *Sir Gawain and the Green Knight* (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001)). The remaining seminar texts are freely available online in the original Middle English in recognised scholarly editions: 1. *The Book of John Mandeville* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/kohanski-and-benson-the-book-of-john-mandeville) 2. Marie de France, *Bisclavret* (https://people.clas.ufl.edu/jshoaf/files/bisclavret.pdf ) 3. *The Book of Margery Kempe* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/staley-the-book-of-margery-kempe ) 4. *The Croxton Play of the Sacrament* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/sebastian-croxton-play-of-the-sacrament) 5. *The Life of St Margaret* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/reames-middle-english-legends-of-women-saints) 6. *The Legend of St George* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/sponsler-lydgate-mummings-and-entertainments-legend-of-saint-george) 7. *Mankind* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/ashley-and-necastro-mankind) 8. Chaucer’s *Canterbury Tales* (https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/pages/text-and-translations ) 9. *The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle* (https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/hahn-sir-gawain)

Rhestr ddarllen

Bibliographies on individual authors will be given during the course, and will be available via the Talis reading list for this module. The following material will provide a context for the literature studied :

Allen, Valerie, On Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) *

Bildhauer, Bettina and Robert Mills, eds, The Monstrous Middle Ages (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003) *

Cohen, Jeffrey J., Of Giants: Sex, Monsters and the Middle Ages (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999) *

Cohen, Jeffrey J., The Postcolonial Middle Ages (New York: St Martins Press, 2000) *

Jones, Timothy S. and David A. Sprunger, eds., Marvels, Monsters and Miracles: Studies in the medieval and early modern imaginations (Kalamazoo: Michigan, 2002) *

Knoppers, Laura Lunger and Joan B. Landes, Monstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004) *

Mittman, Asa, Maps and Monsters in Medieval England (New York: Routledge, 2006)

Morrison, Susan Signe, Excrement in the Late Middle Ages: Sacred Filth and Chaucer’s Fecopoetics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) *

Oswald, Dana M., Monsters, Gender and Sexuality in Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2010) *

Tracy, Larissa, Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2012) *

Verner, Lisa, The Epistemology of the Monstrous in the Middle Ages (New York: Routledge, 2005)

Williams, David, Deformed Discourse: The Function of the Monster in Medieval Thought and Literature (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1996) *

*denotes already available in Bangor University Library

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