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EN4348 Bodies and Selves in the Renaissance

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:12.00 noon - 2.00 pm Thu

The aim of this module is to place the relationship between the body, the self and the book at the heart of our understanding of Renaissance literature. From the body as a site for systems of ritual punishment, to dissection as a model for selfhood, different forms of corporeality will be explored as literary tropes. Primary texts will be examined alongside a diverse range of historical material, including anatomy textbooks and philosophical works, in order to contextualise theories of embodiment and selfhood. Looking at a range of texts by writers including Shakespeare, Donne, Montaigne, Webster, Marlowe, Amelia Lanyer, Jonson and Spenser, Bodies and Selves will examine how bodily systems shape textual forms. Students should be prepared for an intense programme of primary and secondary reading and for heavily discussion-based seminars. Assessment will be by a progression of essays; there is no exam. (Group B)

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Group B Optional for English

UG Pre-requisite(s):EN2003, EN2004

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2-hour seminar and 2 optional consultative hours.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 20
  • Guided independent study: 278

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 0%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 100%
UG As used by St Andrews:Coursework = 100%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr G Pertile
Module teaching staff:Dr G Pertile