Posthuman/Premodern (Q3321)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

This module takes up notions of the ‘posthuman’ – including the animal, the monstrous, automata, the object (e.g. clothing, prostheses), and matter itself (e.g. soil, dust, the earth) – in the premodern. Reading across a range of literature – poetry, plays, encyclopaedias, philosophy, theology, medicine – from the medieval period through to 1800, it invites engagement with the origins of humanist discourse, and with themes such as:

  • what constitutes the ‘human’ in premodern thinking
  • how notions of the posthuman in premodern literature orient a relationship with other animals and the natural world
  • how bodies and technology interact in narrative and performance
  • what paradigms for thinking through the posthuman emerge in the intersection of premodern literature and contemporary theory.


33%: Practical (Workshop)
67%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 36 hours of contact time and about 264 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: