Undergraduate Course: Her Own Life? The politics of religion and the emergence of the female subject, 1650-1700. (ENLI10191)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course aims to introduce students to a range of texts by early modern women writers and to examine the extent to which they can be defined as auto/biographical. The course focuses on the significance of politics and religion in early modern women's attempts to construct a narrative of their 'own' subjectivity in English and Scottish texts.
This course aims to introduce students to a range of texts by early modern women writers and to examine the extent to which they can be defined as auto/biographical. To that end the course begins by examining what constitutes auto/biography and the degree to which modern models of subjectivity are anachronistically imposed upon early modern texts. Although this period is often seen as that in which a recognisably modern sense of self emerges, it also challenges this proposition; while modern notions of subjectivity often invoke a model of uniqueness, early modern texts often espouse imitation and conformity rather than difference. Critics have long noted that the emergence of auto/biography as a distinct genre has its roots in Protestant practices of self-examination; consequently, the course focuses on the significance of politics and religion in early modern women's attempts to construct a narrative of their 'own' subjectivity. While the early weeks focus on English women's writing, the latter part of the course considers texts from a specifically Scottish context; thus, our discussions will also examine the extent to which these texts reveal the formation of a sense of national consciousness.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites|| A 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 admission 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 Office directly for admission to this course **
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||one Course Essay of c. 2,500 words (40%);
one Final Essay of c. 3,000 words (60%)
|No Exam Information
| The course will provide the students with an overview of contemporary theories of auto/biography; an introduction to the political and religious history of the period; and a detailed knowledge of a range of texts by early modern women writers. By the end of the course, students should be able to engage with critical debates concerning generic classifications (for example, what is the difference between a diary and a memoir? Is the term self-writing more appropriate than auto/biography in the early modern period?); be alert to the political and religious codes deployed in these texts; and be able to produce nuanced readings of the set texts.
Graham, Elspeth, et al. Eds. Her Own Life: Autobiographical writings by seventeenth-century English women. London & New York: Routledge, 1989.
Hinds, Hilary. Ed. Anna Trapnel¿s Report and Plea; or, a Narrative of Her Journey from London into Cornwall. Iter Press/Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Toronto/Tempe, 2016.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||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
||2hrs per week
|Course organiser||Dr Suzanne Trill
Tel: (0131 6)50 4291
|Course secretary||Mr Michael Butler
Tel: (0131 6)51 1513