UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ENGL3603 Love and Death in the Renaissance: Reading the Early Modern Period 1450–1700

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the English and Cultural Studies major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 3 elective
Content This unit examines the literature of the period from 1450 to 1700 in its historical context. It studies representations of the concepts of love and death in the art of the period, scientific writings on the physiology of love and death and textual explorations of these themes by thinkers such as Plato, Ovid, Wyatt, Spenser, Philip and Mary Sidney, Queen Elizabeth I, Marlowe, Lanyer, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Marvell and Shakespeare. The unit examines the ways in which classical sources were revived and creatively utilised in the Renaissance, the concept of creative imitation, the political involvement of writers in affairs of state and religion and other aspects of the period of relevance to the emergence of complex creative synergies in the period.

As a Level 3 unit, this unit offers specialised knowledge and builds sophisticated research skills, critical and comparative analytical ability and skills in oral and written communication. Its aim is to equip students with an in-depth and critical understanding of the field, its theories and practices, with a view to encouraging them to undertake competitive postgraduate research in the field. Successful completion of all facets of assessment in the unit serves students who proceed to honours level and potentially beyond.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) have an increased knowledge of the ideas and concepts surrounding love and death in the writing of the Antiquity, the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance; (2) have a broad, rounded view of the most important ideas and works engaging with love and death in the European and English Renaissance; (3) acquire increased knowledge of the social conditions governing life in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; (4) have a more sophisticated appreciation of the origin of philosophical ideas on love, death, society and creativity, and their relevance for our own creative or scholarly work in society today; (5) discuss visual and textual art with greater understanding of how it related to classical, philosophical, theological and literary contexts; (6) have better understanding of the notion of literary genre; (7) understand the 'conversations' between literary conventions of Europe and those governing English writing; (8) develop enhanced knowledge of the Early Modern period in England, as well as of some of the intellectual, historical and cultural contexts that preceded and underpinned its development; (9) gain increased understanding of the work of a number of major writers writing in the period; (10) have better understanding of different contemporary critical approaches to the writing in the early modern period which increases the students' understanding and enjoyment of the primary texts themselves, but also their ability to think critically about other people's critical ideas and to position their own views intelligently in relation to them; (11) have the ability to express original arguments, together with research methodologies, approaches and findings, coherently and logically in oral and written formats; (12) undertake and present research in groups efficiently and creatively, and to offer and respond to feedback appropriately; (13) locate, assess and engage critically with research findings, both individually and in groups; (14) have a demonstrated awareness of the importance of informing and challenging one's independent analyses and ideas with discriminating reading of imaginative, critical and theoretical texts; (15) apply, knowingly and appropriately, highly developed skills of textual analysis, critical reasoning, interpretation and research; (16) interpret texts from a range of cultural genres independently, confidently and appropriately through developed modes of close reading and writing that encourage personal and critically informed engagement and expression; and (17) apply developed skills in independent enquiry-based research, leading towards an informed understanding of, and ethical sensitivity towards, our diverse and globalised world in the context of advanced further studies and/or future career paths.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) tutorial participation; (2) comparative analysis; and (3) a research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Ciara Rawnsley
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any Level 2 ENGL unit or MEMS2001 Classical Traditions and Transformations in Medieval and Early Modern Europe or EURO2209 Utopias, Imagination and Modernity in European Culture
Incompatibility: ENGL2250 Love and Death in the Renaissance
Contact hours 3 hours per week
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.arts.uwa.edu.au/Units/ENGL3603/SEM-2/2017

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.