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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Discourses of Desire: Sex, Gender, and the Sonnet Sequence in Tudor and Stuart England. (ENLI10298)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryGenerally acknowledged to be the most difficult verse form, the sonnet flourished in England from the late sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries. Initially entering the English language via Wyatt and Surrey's translations of individual poems from the Italian poet Petrarch's Canzoniere, the form of the sonnet was most famously honed and adapted for English usage by Sidney, Spenser and Shakespeare. While obviously poetic in form, the sonnet sequence is simultaneously a narrative. Traditionally, the Petrarchan origins of the sonnet sequence have been perceived as establishing the conventions of the genre as the articulation of the male poet-personae's love for an absent and/or unattainable woman. While this is complicated by Shakespeare's dual audience of a ?fair youth and a ?dark lady, until recently it was taken for granted that women were only the recipients or objects of such literature. The ubiquity of sonnet writing famously caused Virginia Woolf to ponder the perennial puzzle of 'why no woman wrote a word of that extraordinary literature when every other man, it seemed, was capable of song or sonnet' (A Room of One's Own). Yet more recent research reveals that the first and the final such sequences in English were written by women. By examining the similarities and differences between the form, content and structure of sonnet sequences by Locke, Sidney, Daniel, Spenser, Shakespeare and Wroth, this course will result in an understanding of the gendered historical development of the sonnet sequence. By examining texts by both male and female authors, this course will also explore how (or if) the sex of the writer influences the way in which desire is articulated and to what extent this has political implications.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) AND English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential Course Texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admissions to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Section directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
- An understanding of the historical development of the sonnet sequence in the Tudor and Stuart periods.
- An ability to engage in detail with the various formal properties of the sonnet/sonnet sequences.
- A capacity to explore the significance of sexual difference in Tudor and Stuart authorship strategies.
- An awareness of the political inflections of the articulation of desire during this period.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited to 15, with priority given to students taking degrees involving English or Scottish Literature and Visiting Students placed by the Admissions Office. Students not in these categories need the written approval of the Head of English Literature before enrolling. In the case of excess applications places will be decided by ballot.
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s). Autonomous Learning Group one hour a week at times to be arranged.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Suzanne Trill
Tel: (0131 6)50 4291
Course secretaryMs June Haigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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