Literature and Culture: Representations of the Medieval - 2012

This unit contains mature content including Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.
This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2012: SP1 , SP2
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (30%) , Essay 2 (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2012 Fees
Domestic 795.00
HECS 706.00
International 1,020.00

Examine the interrelationships between texts and the cultures of which they form a part. You will explore how ideas about the Middle Ages, both learned and popular, have developed from the first use of the term by historians in the Renaissance to representations in films of the present day. Themes covered include: The Gothic Horror Story; Victorian medievalism; The arts and crafts movement; Modern retellings of the Arthurian saga and contemporary medieval detective fiction. You will study a range of literary and non-literary texts in the broad context of cultural history.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. gain an awareness of many of the contributions and influences of medieval literature and culture to, and representations in, the contemporary world
  2. be able to identify sources of information (such as research tools, databases and online resources), and problem-solving skills in dealing with these resources
  3. be able to use background research to place specific problems in context and elucidate their individual characteristics
  4. gain a familiarity with treating different types of discourses that feature medieval representations
  5. be able to critically analyse arguments
  6. gain communication skills, with particular emphasis on the ability to discuss complex material, to reflect on research and organise one's ideas, and to comprehend alternative views and respond to them profitably
  7. be able to construct sustained arguments in writing, supported by clear logic and detailed research
  8. gain skills in clear presentation of written work.
  • Essay 1 (30%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)
  • Online Discussion (10%)
  • Quiz (20%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Defining medieval: historical & social context
2The Gothic mode: Horace Walpole & the castle
3The Gothic mode continued: the castle of Otranto
4Representations of the medieval in 19th C poetry
5The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood & the significance of 19th C
6William Morris, the Arts & Crafts movement & Victoria
7A (brief) overview of the Arthurian saga
8Medievalism & the new age: the mists of Avalon
9Representations of the medieval in film
10The Name of the Rose: history, textuality & semiotics
11Name of the Rose continued: the medieval detective novel
12Rose: Mikhail Bakhtin & the theory of carnival
13The future of the Middle Ages: new & emerging reps

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Quizzes

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Name of the Rose

    By:Eco Umberto

    ISBN: -


    Supplier:Go to Unibooks

  • Mists of Avalon

    By:Bradley Marion Zimmer

    ISBN: -


    Supplier:Go to Unibooks

  • The Castle of Otranto

    By:Walpole Horace

    ISBN: -


    Supplier:Go to Unibooks

  • News from Nowhere and Other Writings

    By:Morris William

    ISBN: -


    Supplier:Go to Unibooks

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.