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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Medieval Voices: Politics, Literature and Society in Early Stewart Scotland. 1371-1488 (HIST10468)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThe course examines the political, literary and cultural life of the late medieval Stewart kingdom of Scotland. It will interrogate ideas of a crown-led fifteenth-century Renaissance through detailed study of a series of important texts and surviving material culture.
Course description The course examines the political, literary and cultural life of Early Stewart Scotland. The course deals with documentary sources [Parliamentary and legal records, Great Seal Registers etc.] and literary texts. The chosen texts will be analysed to determine what they reveal of the outlook and concerns of authors and audiences in their immediate Scottish context, but also as examples of wider medieval European debates or concerns. Thus, for example, Barbour's Bruce provides an insight into the martial aristocratic culture of late fourteenth-century Scotland but is also part of a broader movement questioning the nature of 'true' chivalry and knighthood across Europe in an age dominated by war. Students will develop skills in understanding and reading primary sources as both the product of very particular circumstances and of longer-term intellectual, artistic and social movements. They will also heighten their awareness of the demands and expectations of genre in shaping the form and content of medieval sources, and the importance of language choice in composition.
The course outlines the political and chronological developments that shaped late medieval Scotland through study of a series of documentary and literary texts [in translation] representing production in three of the four literary languages of late medieval Scotland [Scots, Latin and Gaelic]. The literary texts have been chosen to illustrate the contrasting and varied 'voices' and interests of the inhabitants of the medieval kingdom and different ways of understanding the nature and workings of medieval society. The sources will include: chronicles, most notably Walter Bower's Scotichronicon, and Andrew of Wyntoun's Original Chronicle: parliamentary and legal records; literary works such as Barbour's Bruce, the King's Quair, The Buke of the Howlat, the Book of the Dean of Lismore; devotional works such as The Scottish Legendary; advisory texts such as Gilbert Hay's Buke of the Order of Knighthood.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass in 40 credits of third level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 348 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
Two 5000-word essays (each worth 40% of the overall course assessment)
One 2000-word source analysis (worth 20% of the overall course assessment)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source materials;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence.
Reading List
S. Boardman and S. Foran (eds.), Barbour's Bruce in Context (2015)

S. Boardman and J. Goodare (eds.), Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300-1625 (2014)

M.H. Brown and R.Tanner (eds.), Scottish Kingship, 1306-1542 (2008)

M.H. Brown, James I (1990)

A. Grant, Independence and Nationhood: Scotland 1306-1470 (1991)

N. Macdougall, James III (2009)

S. Mapstone, 'Was there a Court Literature in Fifteenth-Century Scotland', in Studies in Scottish Literature, 26 (1991)

S. Mapstone and J. Wood, eds, The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (1998)

J. Martin, Kingship and Love in Scottish Poetry, 1424-1530 (2008)

K. Stevenson, Chivalry and Knighthood in Scotland, 1424-1513 (2006)

R. Tanner, The Late Medieval Scottish Parliament (2001)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to manage one's time effectively, work to deadlines, and perform effectively under pressure;
- the ability to gather, sift, organise and evaluate large quantities of textual evidence;
- the ability to marshal argument in both written and oral form;
- the ability to work independently and as part of a pair or larger group.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Stephen Boardman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4035
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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