Early Modern England: Contemporary Issues and Popular Culture
DozentIn: Dr. phil. Anja Höing, M.Ed.
Zeiten: Do. 10:00 - 12:00 (wöchentlich), Termine am Samstag. 11.06.22 08:00 - 18:00
Beschreibung: This is a V1 CULTURAL STUDIES course, also open as the literary and cultural studies part of the I-Module.
The early modern era was a particularly important period in British cultural history. In the 16th and 17th century, both the Renaissance and the Reformation came to Britain virtually simultaneously, upsetting structures that had gone unchallenged throughout the Middle Ages. In political, socio-cultural and religious terms alike, the Renaissance was a time of turmoil and radicalism, and as a result both English culture and literature changed profoundly.
In this seminar, we will approach early modern Britain through the lens of cultural studies, focussing on sources on the margins of the early modern canon – on popular culture, pamphlets, polemics, or guides to daily life, health issues, or religion. Our main source will be the online database EEBO (Early English Books Online, use university VPS or UB proxy server to access via DBIS), a uniquely varied collection of early modern sources.
Our aim will not be to make sense of early modern England as it is presented in history books, but rather to gain insight into the discourses underlying early modern culture: how did people in early modern England think about the world and their contemporaries? How did they approach issues like gender, identity, or race? What was “knowledge” like in the late 16th and early 17th century? And how can theoretical approaches from various fields of Cultural Studies help us to develop new insights on how early modern England perceived itself and the world?
In this course, we will not focus on one major primary source. Instead, students will be asked to prepare excerpts from a wide spectrum of (often quite challenging) primary texts as well as several theoretical texts. Readings will be made available online, either on Stud.IP or through EEBO. Check Stud-IP on a regular basis to be aware of updates, announcements, and changes.
Students will be required to
• read and discuss a number of theoretical and historical texts
• participate actively and regularly, both in the sessions (including a group project on a field of early modern popular culture) and in the course Wiki
• write a term paper (details on requirements will be announced in the first session)
Deadline for term paper will be August 15, 2022. In all likelihood, I will not be able to offer deadline extensions.
In order to make up for the short writing time for the term paper, I plan to block some sessions in the first half of the term so that for some weeks in May and June this course will run with 4 SWS, while there will be no sessions towards the end of the term so that you can get a headstart on your term papers.