Joint-honours information for 2016 entry


Module Q3272

Module details for 2016/17.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

The origins of this rich and complicated genre lie in the Middle Ages, when romance was the most popular form of secular literature and the particular narrative form in which women characters developed agency and subjectivity. The influence of medieval romance on later English literature, from The Faerie Queene to Bridget Jones's Diary, is profound, and romance can be read as a rival form to the novel (a distinction the module will explore), making it one of the most important genres to English literary history. Despite this, romance is a peculiarly discredited genre - scholars of medieval literature, for example, have dubbed romance 'pulp fiction', despite the existence of many sophisticated romances. This scholarly verdict (though robustly challenged) has a long history, one in which the discrediting of romance in later periods is bound up with its association with women readers, and, indeed, with women writers. 'I suppose you are for love and a cottage: this comes of reading romances; - women have no business ever to read - or to write either', quips one father to his daughter in an eighteenth-century romance written by one now little-known author, Mary Robinson. This module introduces students to the history of romance, with a particular focus on medieval literature, to trace its importance not only to English literary history, but also to a history of women as readers and writers, and the ways in which male writers thought about and adapted a genre that was assumed to be feminine.

Module learning outcomes

Display detailed knowledge of romance as a genre and its development over time

Analyse examples of romance, ranging from the medieval to the modern, using appropriate literary critical methods and socio-historical contexts

Work, with a degree of confidence, with Middle English texts in the original language

Evaluate scholarly arguments, and develop independent thinking about romance, and communicate these effectively in written form

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT2 Week 8 30.00%
EssayA2 Week 3 70.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Spring SemesterSeminar2 hours111111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Miss Trudy Cadman

Assess convenor

Dr Katie Walter

Assess convenor, Convenor

Prof Matthew Dimmock

Assess convenor

Dr Chloe Porter

Assess convenor

Ms Emma Carlyle

Assess convenor

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