Joint-honours information for 2016 entry

Writing Lives before 1800

Module Q3294

Module details for 2016/17.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 6

Module Outline

This module explores life writing from the medieval period to the eighteenth century. Life writing in this period takes a wide variety of forms; the module examines examples including poetry; prose, drama, travel writing, diaries, portraiture and account books. It also invites students to reflect on contemporary writing about pre-1800 ‘lives’ and the place of archives in life writing. Through these examples, the module asks what is an ‘autobiography’, ‘biography’ or a ‘life’ in pre-1800 contexts. Assessment is by 6000 word dissertation, which could take the form of a creative / critical response to a pre-1800 'life'.

Module learning outcomes

Read critically a range of texts produced before 1800 that exemplify different models of life writing

Analyse the ways in which historical and social change shapes and produces life writing before 1800, and reflect critically on the relationship of historical examples to life writing in the present day.

Critically evaluate the significance of literary notions of autobiography, biography, memoir and the 'life' for medieval, early modern and eighteenth-century texts.

Select a topic for research appropriate for the course, and research it widely; organise complex material into an extended essay that illustrates independent research.

Dissertation (6000 words)Semester 2 Assessment Week 1 Thu 16:00100.00%

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 SemesterWorkshop1 hour111111111100
Spring SemesterSeminar2 hours111111111110

How to read the week pattern

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

Ms Anne Crawford

Assess convenor

Ms Emma Carlyle

Assess convenor

Dr Chloe Porter

Assess convenor, Convenor

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