Medieval Passions

Subject ENGL40003 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.


Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in English & theatre studies.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


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


Subject Overview:

How did medieval writers conceptualise emotions, passions, and feelings? This subject will introduce students to a selection of medieval English texts in a range of narrative and dramatic genres that privilege different forms of emotional practice: romance, lyric, allegory, confessional writing, and religious texts, focussing on the crucifixion of Christ. The subject also offers 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 history of emotions and affect theory. No prior knowledge of Middle English is assumed in this subject, which is designed as an introduction to medieval literature and culture.

Learning Outcomes:

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 the history of emotions in the field of medieval studies.

Students will write: (a) a report of 1000 words 20% (due mid-semester), and an essay of 4000 words 80% (due in the examination period); or (b) an essay of 5000 words 100% (due in the examination period).

Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:

• Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1, The Middle Ages.

• Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, ed. Barney. Norton Critical Editions

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: English and Theatre
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - English and Theatre Studies
PC-ARTS English and Theatre Studies
PD-ARTS English and Theatre Studies

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