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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Hispanic Studies

Undergraduate Course: War and Desire in Medieval Iberia (ELCH09036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryWith a focus on the representation of war and desire, the objective of this option course is to deepen the knowledge of the Middle Ages in general and of different cultures of the medieval Iberian Peninsula in particular. From a comparative perspective, the study of Castilian, Catalan, Galician-Portuguese and Occitan epic, romance, lyric and tragicomedy will elucidate the construction of national, gender and class identities.

The course will be taught in English and all texts will also be available in English translation.
Course description War and desire were central themes of secular literature in the Middle Ages. The troubadours and trobairitz (female troubadours) ennobled erotic desire in the form of fin'amors (courtly love). At the same time, medieval epics such as The Poem of the Cid emphasised the masculine virtues of warriors: honour, loyalty and bravery. With the appearance of the roman courtois (courtly romance), martial and love narratives converged.

The cultural and socio-political contexts of the texts studied will elucidate the dialogic interchanges between historical events, existing literary modes and the writing and reception of literature. From this comparative perspective, students will be able to explore the emergence and transformation of national, gender and class identities and the exchanges between Castilian, Catalan, Galician-Portuguese and Occitan cultures in medieval Iberia.

The growing interdisciplinary field of medieval studies has led to literature being approached from broader cultural and intellectual perspectives. Such perspectives will allow us to analyse how the authors responded to the historical circumstances and artistic precepts of late medieval Europe. We will examine the tensions between the sacred and the erotic, the codification of epic and courtly norms and the evolution of the representation of love through the impact of humanism.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Textbooks or ebooks, c. £20 - 25.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative

60% Comparative essay (1,200 words)
40% Poetry podcast (10 minutes)

0% essay proposal (100 words)
Feedback Students will be given oral feedback every week during discussions to help them analyse medieval literature.

Students will be given detailed written feedback for their poetry podcast, essay proposal and comparative essay assignments.

Aiming for clarity, for the poetry podcast the feedback will be divided into these sections: content, structure, references and delivery. For the comparative commentary, the feedback will be divided into these sections: content, structure, references and style. In each section, students will be told what they will have done correctly and the areas of improvement, which will be clearly marked as in the example below:

What to improve
You should develop your ideas (or your second/third paragraph...) more in depth.

What to do
Always ask 'why' to develop your points. 'Wh-' questions will also help you develop your ideas in depth.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the different cultures of medieval Iberia in the wider context of the European Middle Ages.
  2. Evaluate and compare different kinds of written texts from late medieval Iberian cultures in contact.
  3. Apply analytical, communication and presentation skills on aspects of late medieval culture and history.
  4. Engage with critical approaches to culture in late medieval Iberia assessing the relationship between its history, politics, society and aspects of cultural expression.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Be sensitive to and understand the diversity in people from different communities, genders and backgrounds.

Communicate complex ideas and arguments in oral and written form.

Think independently and come up with their own lines of arguments.

Conduct research and enquiry into specific areas of knowledge.
Course organiserDr Sergi Mainer
Tel: (0131 6)50 8966
Course secretary
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