Chaucer and Late Medieval English Literature - EN697

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR C Wright




Not available as wild



This course introduces students to a range of writings from the late medieval and Tudor period. It focuses on a number of central genres in English writing that emerge between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries, including romance, fabliaux, satirical, and religious writing. The course is designed to introduce a genre or theme with reference to Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and his other writings, especially his lyrics and shorter poetry, thus allowing this accessible author to initiate the students in issues that will be pertinent in respect of less familiar writers and writings.

The themes and theories covered by the course will vary from year to year in response to the lecture programme and to the emphases made by individual teachers, but they will include such topics as authorship, reading, patronage, translation, gender, sexuality, iconography, piety, personal identity, imagination, historicism, legend, medievalism, representation, audience, and the move from manuscript to print.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

The course will be taught by an interactive one-hour lecture and a two-hour seminar per week.

Method of assessment

50% coursework: seminar performance (20%), 1,500 word close reading exercise (20%), Research Diary, min 2,000 words (10%), 2,500 word Essay (50%);
50% examination - 3-hour paper

Preliminary reading

Derek Pearsall, ed., Chaucer to Spenser: An Anthology (Blackwell, 1999)
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. Jill Mann (Penguin, 2005)
AC Cawley & JJ Anderson, eds., Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, (Dent: London, latest edition)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following subject specific learning outcomes:

• Develop a critical understanding of the writings of a range of authors from the later medieval and Tudor period;
• develop an understanding of the different kinds of narrative and the ways in which they are written;
• identify recurrent topics within and between authors and across periods
• establish a sense of the historical and cultural contexts for medieval and Tudor literature.

On successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the following generic learning outcomes:

• identify and apply appropriate methods and theories;
• structure, develop and sustain complex arguments; and select, assimilate and apply primary and secondary sources;
• develop independent and collaborative research skills
• develop writing skills and use a range of techniques to undertake critical analysis of texts;
• develop oral communication skills to present an argument orally, how to defend that argument, and how to use responses to refine ideas.

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