English, 2017 curriculum - Free topic 4: Explorations in Shakespeare + All Art is at Once Surface and Symbol: The Portrait in Art and Literature from the Renaissance to Modernism

Course content

Explorations in Shakespeare

In this course we shall study four of Shakespeare’s plays, paying attention to the nature of drama, the conditions of theatre in Shakespeare’s time and since, and the difficulties in establishing a text representing what Shakespeare might have written. We will examine one tragedy, one comedy, one history play and one of the late ‘romances’.

 

All Art is at Once Surface and Symbol: The Portrait in Art and Literature from the Renaissance to Modernism

This course is open to all active students who wish to explore the links between the visual and the literary portrait through a range of genres such as the (auto)biography, the (dramatic) monologue, the allegory, the novel, etc. Revolving around the classical ut pictura poesis discussion it involves such issues as ‘portraits - masks or mirrors?’; ‘portraits and power’; ‘the relationship between self, artist, sitter, and audience’; ‘the image of the poet in art and literature’; ‘portraits of the past’; ‘portraits in fiction’ and whatever other issues participants may wish to raise. The course does not confine itself to one literary period, but encompasses such subjects as the allegorical Renaissance portrait explored through the link between the body of the Queen and the body politick in visual depictions of Elizabeth I; Romantic self-fashioning in artists’ self-portraits, in images of the Romantic poets and in the blurred lines between the poet and the poetic ‘I’ in the writings of Shelley and Keats; nineteenth-century portraits of the past in paintings by Leighton and in poems by Browning, in Walter Pater’s Imaginary Portraits; the relation between surface and symbol, artist and sitter in some of Oscar Wilde’s writings; the Impressionist portrait and modernist writing.

Classes, with particular emphasis on reading primary and secondary texts, oral discussion and developing proficiency in English.

Explorations in Shakespeare

Reading: Othello, Twelfth Night, Richard II, Winter's Tale

 

All Art is at Once Surface and Symbol: The Portrait in Art and Literature from the Renaissance to Modernism

Reading:

  • Longer texts/collections of texts studied in the course:
  • Walter Pater, Imaginary Portraits
  • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Virginia Woolf, Orlando

This course only leads to exams Free Topic 1, Free Topic 2 and Free Topic 3.

Course plans (including final reading lists and specific dates for deadlines) will be available in mid-January 2018.

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio, A joint portfolio for both courses uploaded in digital exam: Deadline June 12th 2018
• A presentation and participation in a student conference in week 19 over 1-2 days (depending on the number of participants in the course) for the ‘All Art is at Once Surface and Symbol’ component of the module. Synopsis must be uploaded to Absalon before the final day of the conference. Research questions, bibliography, powerpoint presentation etc. must uploaded to Absalon before the final day of the conference. The presentation + uploaded material will make up ½ of your final grade.
• An 11-15-page long essay for the ‘Exploring Shakespeare’ component of the course, to be uploaded (deadline to be announced). This will make up ½ of your final grade.
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • English
  • 409,5