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Medieval and Early Modern Worlds


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: an essay plan and working bibliography (0%) and 5000-word research essay (100%)

Module description

This module introduces you to the richness of Medieval and Early Modern worlds through a series of case studies that draw upon the wealth of surviving evidence for the lives and experiences of people who lived in the Middle Ages and Early Modern era, and the legacies of interrogating this period of extraordinary cultural innovation. You will develop an understanding of these cultures from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, informed by a range of textual and material sources including historical documents, works of literature, objects, archaeology, landscapes and the visual arts. Through these media, you will engage with a range of current approaches and theoretical frameworks in Medieval and Early Modern studies, understanding change and development in the field in response to contemporary readings of these periods in the contexts of the global, environmental and post-human. You will work towards completing an independent piece of research of your choosing, working under the guidance of tutors on the module. 

Indicative module syllabus

  • Introduction: Medieval and Early Modern Worlds
  • Allegory and Anachronism 
  • Materiality and Objects 
  • Space, Place, and Landscape
  • Ecologies 
  • Non-humans 
  • Bodies 
  • ‘Race’ 
  • Gender 
  • Emotions and Senses

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a knowledge of Medieval or Early Modern cultures, reflecting knowledge and understanding from a variety of disciplinary perspectives 
  • recognise the cultural, religious, political and other contexts in which these ideas developed  
  • engage with a suitable range of primary and secondary materials relevant to the subject of study 
  • demonstrate an understanding of current approaches to key issues in Medieval or Early Modern studies 
  • carry out independent research making use of appropriate tools, methods and materials 
  • articulate this knowledge and understanding in a sustained piece of written work.