ENG-30076 - That womb where you imprison'd were: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Maternity in the Early Modern Period
Coordinator: Susan E Bruce Room: CBB2.060 Tel: +44 1782 7 34119
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours:
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2018/19

English Dual Honours (Level 6)
English Major (Level 6)
English Minor (Level 6)
English Single Honours (Level 6)
English and American Literatures Single Honours (Level 6)
English with Creative Writing Single Honours (Level 6)


Available as a Free Standing Elective

No

Co-requisites

None

Prerequisites



Barred Combinations



Description for 2018/19

Questions and issues surrounding conception, pregnancy and childbirth were fundamental to the early modern state, not least because all property, from the Crown down, passed from father to eldest son in the system known as primogeniture. Female reproductive processes, therefore, were the focus of intense investigation at the same time that they were shrouded in secrecy and ignorance. This is a period in which we see the rise of gynaecology and increasing competition between men and women over appropriate roles in the management of female reproductive health, coupled with profound social anxiety over generation, since in the absence of DNA tests, men could not securely know that their children were their own. This module will examine a selection of texts in which pregnancy and/ or childbirth are key themes, situating those texts in the complex social, historical, medical and political contexts of the time, and examining how issues surrounding human reproduction are central to the patriarchal world of the early modern period.
This module is designed to give students the opportunity to examine a range of fictional and non-fictional texts about pregnancy, childbirth and maternity from the early modern period and to situate the literary texts that they read in their social, medical, historical and political contexts. It is also designed to encourage students to revise and re-revise work before final submission, and accordingly, there will be an emphasis in this module on peer review, revision and re-writing.

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Key concepts 1: Histories of the family and a selection of poetry
Week 3: Key concepts 2: Medical texts, midwife manuals and a selection of poetry
Week 4: Conception, generation and monstrosity: Titus Andronicus
Week 5: All's Well That Ends Well
Week 6: Measure for Measure
Week 7: Reading week:
Week 8: The Winter's Tale
Week 9: The Duchess of Malfi
Week 10: The Changeling
Week 11: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
Week 12: Essay consultations


Aims
This module is designed to give students the opportunity to examine a range of fictional and non-fictional texts about pregnancy, childbirth and maternity from the sixteenth, seventeen and early eighteenth centuries.
It aims to familiarise students with early modern anxieties about pregnancy, childbirth and reproduction.
It aims to introduce students to early modern medical tracts and publications about pregnancy and childbirth, and to enable them to situate the literary texts that they read in their social, medical, historical and political contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate detailed knowledge of early modern literary texts concerning pregnancy, childbirth and maternity;: 1,3,

articulate some of the key issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth in the early modern period;: 1,3,

situate early modern literary texts about pregnancy and childbirth in the historical context in which they are produced;: 1,3,

offer and receive constructive criticism on their own drafts and those of their peers;: 2,

recognise the value of revising written work before its final submission;: 2,3,

improve drafts of written work by learning how to self-assess work and incorporate the advice of others.: 2,3,
























Study hours

24 hours seminars
70 hours reading and seminar preparation
35 hours researching, planning, and writing up under exam conditions (including assessment 3)
18 hours short draft researching and writing
2 hours peer review exercise
1 hour individual consultation

School Rules

None

Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay-Plan weighted 25%
A short first draft of an essay
1000 word essay, directly preparatory for the final assessment, but a third the length. Students will be required to focus on argument, to draft a thesis sentence, and to complete a pro-forma identifying three things they like about their draft, and three things they think they need to improve in their draft.

2: Exercise weighted 0%
Peer review of another student's essay draft
Students will be required to exchange essay drafts. Their essay will be peer reviewed by another student; they will also review a peer's essay. This exercise will be accompanied by a pro-forma which they must complete, in which they will have to identify and comment on the thesis sentence of their peer's essay, its content and its style.

3: Seen Exam weighted 75%
Seen exam
This 2-hour exam will consist of a substantial revision of the draft essay produced earlier in the semester, improved through taking account of comments on the earlier draft by tutor and peer reviewer.