Inner Worlds: Literature, 800-1750 (Q3304)

30 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

We will explore the representation of the self in literature from the early middle ages to the eighteenth century, showing how literary forms represented, created and negotiated ideas of the individual, and the relationship between individuals, institutions and systems of belief.

We will investigate a range of issues:

  • writing the self and personal writing
  • religious belief
  • sexual identity and sexual politics
  • rights and duties
  • performing identities
  • mysticism.

And we’ll read a wide range of fascinating material, from Old English religious poetry, such as The Dream of the Rood, to post-Restoration discussions of the nature of sexuality, such as Aphra Behn’s poetry.

Other works and authors studied may include: The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play, Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, William Shakespeare, Amelia Lanyer, George Herbert, and Eliza Haywood.


29%: Lecture
13%: Practical (Workshop)
58%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 31 hours of contact time and about 269 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: