Gender and Religion in Medieval Literature ENGLIT5106

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

In this course, students will study the intersection between gender and religion in a selection of Middle English texts for, by or about women. Texts will include one or more mystical works by a woman (such as the Showings of Julian of Norwich or The Book of Margery Kempe), representations of religious heroines ( in texts such as saints' lives or Chaucer's religious tales) and texts written for women (such as the religious rule for anchoresses, the Ancrene WIsse and the associated works known as the Katherine Group.)


2 hour seminar, weekly across 10 weeks

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





1x mid-term essay of 1000 words (20%)

1x end of term essay of 4000 words (80%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

- Introduce students to key debates about gender and religion in medieval England

- Expose students to a wide range of Middle English texts for, by and about women in the religious life.

- Explore the treatment of key aspects of the status of women in medieval England and the major contours of medieval Catholic religious ideology to help develop student's independent research interests.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

- Reflect critically on the intersection of gender and religion in the medieval period in England;

- Identify, develop, and defend a distinct research area/interest related to medieval writings for, by and about women in the religious life;

- Write clearly, concisely, and with apposite historical and literary judgement on a range of primary texts;

- Communicate their ideas effectively and succinctly in spoken and written form at an advanced level.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.