RENAISSANCE LIVES - 2024/5

Module code: ELI2047

Module Overview

Renaissance Lives focusses on early modern identity through the understanding of lives (real and fictional) and how these may be represented in literature and life writing. Through the module, different lives are explored through a thematic focus on gender and sexuality, race and faith. These three strands allow students to focus upon diversity and enable them to explore the relevance of renaissance lives to the present-day ideas. A visit by a professional biofiction author will further encourage students to understand how their own writing may address contemporary discourses of gender, sexuality, race and faith.

This optional module develops knowledge and skills introduced at Level 4 both critical and creative and gives students a wider and deeper understanding of key material from the Early Modern period of literature in English. There are two key points of building upon various Level 4 elements: first, a sense of historical contextualisation that focuses on important political and intellectual discourses, and second, a generic pathway that covers drama, poetry, and prose, whether critical or creative. The module also ensures that students have a solid basis for understanding English literature of the Early Modern period and concepts of the self and identity. This knowledge will be extended and deepened through optional modules at level 6.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

WYNNE-DAVIES Marion (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 73

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 44

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None.

Module content

Indicative content includes a focus of gender and sexuality, race and faith with texts that might include:

Gender and Sexuality - the sonnets of William Shakespeare and Mary Wroth

Race - William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice and Ben Jonson's The Masque of Blackness

Faith - John Donne's Sonnets and Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (2500 Words) OR a Creative Writing Piece (2000 words) plus a Critical Commentary 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills in communicating ideas orally and in working individually and in a group. It also assesses subject knowledge in Early Modern literature and ideas of identity as well as theoretical/critical methodologies, and cognitive/analytical skills in using critical material and theoretical concepts in relation to close textual analysis and critical thinking.

The essay and the creative writing piece both assess subject knowledge in Early Modern literature and ideas of identity as well as theoretical/critical methodologies; cognitive/analytical skills in in using critical material, creative practice and theoretical concepts in relation to creative writing and critical thinking; transferable skills in communicating ideas in written form, and in planning and implementing timetables for deadlines.

Students on the English Literature and/or Creative Writing programme MAY submit a portfolio of creative writing and accompanying self-reflexive commentary for their final assessment. This assessment option allows you to demonstrate:


  • Subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language of plays and films to demonstrate.

  • Cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking. * Professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing.

  • Creative engagement with the opportunities and limitations of a particular mode of writing.

  • Creative engagement with the texts and themes discussed on the module.

  • An ability to locate your own creative work fruitfully and articulately in relation to existing literary traditions and the contemporary field of literary productiion.



The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Essay (2500 words) OR Creative Writing Piece (2000 words) plus a Critical Commentary (500 words)

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal Feedback in class, written and/or verbal feedback on one piece of writing (maximum of 500 words).

Formative 'feed forward' is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, and a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises. Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback in seminar.

Module aims

  • The module aims to develop an understanding of: the conventions and genres of Early Modern literature in relation to both
    critical and creative work
  • The concept of early modern identity through looking at Renaissance lives, both real and fictional and from various cultures
    and backgrounds
  • The theoretical and critical methodologies that underpin the study of Early Modern literature and life writing of the period
  • The knowledge and skills necessary for both critical and creative writing that involves independent research using digital
    resources
  • How to apply critical awareness to their own creative writing and/or to the works of others, especially through group work
  • The skills for employment with access to a published writer of early modern biofiction

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will have attained an understanding of: the conventions and genres of Early Modern literature in relation to both critical and creative work K
002 The concept of early modern identity through looking at Renaissance lives, both real and fictional and from various cultures and backgrounds K
003 The theoretical and critical methodologies that underpin the study of Early Modern literature and life writing of the period KC
004 The knowledge and skills necessary for both critical and creative writing that involves independent research using digital resources KCPT
005 How to apply critical awareness to their own creative writing and/or to the works of others, especially through group work PT
006 The skills for employment with access to a published writer of early modern biofiction PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical and professional skills. Specifically, the weekly lectures deliver subject knowledge related to literature and ideas of identity in the Early Modern period and to develop cognitive/analytical skills in using critical material and theoretical concepts in relation to creative writing and critical thinking. The weekly seminars offer student-led discussions that develop skills in communication and in working individually and as a group.

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning.

The module is also designed to support student learning through the visit of a professional writer and to introduce students to literature and renaissance lives from and about the early modern period from a range of backgrounds, cultures and countries.

Overall, students will learn about renaissance lives via a range of online materials and through workshops in order to develop their knowledge base and skills in a creative and scholarly environment.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2047

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital Capabilities: students access a range of digital materials relevant to critical analysis and creative writing including online searches for material on historical figures, authors and texts that are not covered by scholarly criticism. They are given access to a range of web-based materials, such as museums, archives, galleries and ancestry sites, in order to learn about the content of online information and how to access it.

Employability: students learn about the key elements in analysing and creating renaissance life stories giving them the knowledge and skills for employment with a visit from a published early modern biofiction author in order to explain access to employability. Students learn about how to research life histories and ancestry material that gives them access to employment with people-focused approaches.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: the module includes a number of examples of internationalism and diversity, including race (Black Tudors and Elizabethans) and faith (Elizabeth I and Murad III). Students are encouraged to bring examples of diversity that reflect their own backgrounds, cultures and experience. Students are also encouraged to bring their own cultures and cultural experiences into the context of the classroom.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: resourcefulness is developed through understanding and creating works that recognize the relevance of renaissance lives to present-day ideas about gender, sexuality, race and faith. The material researched and analysed allows students to develop an in-depth and on-going understanding of major issues in today's society, and to reflect actively on approaches and strategies with which to address them.

Student Learning Journey: The module builds upon period and genre knowledge as well as critical and creative skills from students' Level 4 studies and develops critical and creative skills for level 6 modules including the in-depth research/advanced creative practice needed for the dissertation/ creative writing portfolio.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.