Medieval Temporalities

Subject ENGL40003 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in English
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Formerly 106-414 Medieval Representations. Students who have completed 106-414 Medieval Representations are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Stephanie Trigg


Stephanie Trigg

Subject Overview:

How did medieval writers conceptualise the past and the present? This subject will introduce a selection of medieval English texts, chosen for their various representations of their own present, the past, and other cultures, in a range of genres: monastic chronicles, Arthurian and classical histories and mythologies, stories about the city of London, travel narratives, religious drama, and poems of contemporary satire and complaint. The subject will conclude with a detailed study of Chaucer's magnificent Trojan love story, Troilus and Criseyde. We will read these texts through the frameworks of contemporary critical discussions of historicism, the multiple temporalities of medieval culture, and the history of sexuality and the emotions. No prior knowledge of Middle English is assumed in this subject, which is designed as an introduction to medieval literature and culture.


Students who complete this subject will:

  • be familiar with some of the main genres of medieval literature;
  • have a reading knowledge of Middle English; and
  • have an enhanced understanding of contemporary critical debates about historicism, temporality and the history of sexuality and the emotions in the field of medieval studies.

Students will write: (a) a report of 1,000 words 20% (due mid-semester), and an essay of 4000 words 80% (due at the end of semester); or (b) an essay of 5000 words 100% (due at the end of semester). Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader and on-line readings will be available.

  • J. A. Burrow and T. Turville-Petre, ed. A Book of Middle English (Blackwell)
  • Larry D. Benson, gen.ed. The Riverside Chaucer
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will have developed skills in:

  • conceptualising and planning an original research project;
  • communicating arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in group discussions;
  • developing critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;
  • applying research skills (especially in library and online resources) and critical methods to traditional and emerging fields of inquiry;
  • detailed readings of a range of texts in different media; and
  • contrasting traditional and contemporary forms of knowledge about the past.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient and Medieval Studies
Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies
English Language Studies
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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