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Assessed Seminar: Building Early Modernity - ARC00073H

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Matthew Jenkins
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

This module focuses on the wide array of post-medieval standing buildings and explores how they have been investigated by academics and what stories we have chosen to tell about them. How do we conceptualise modernity and how is this played out in the material culture of standing buildings? The range of buildings students can look at include domestic buildings (elite town houses, workers’ housing, country houses), leisure buildings (assembly rooms, shops, coffee houses, museums), civic buildings (guildhalls, town halls), institutional buildings (prisons, hospitals, workhouses) and industrial buildings.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

Assessed Seminars seek to develop an understanding of a specialist topic (particularly a critical understanding of the key themes, approaches and opinions). In doing so students should be able to improve their knowledge of the subject area (through reading and preparation for their own seminar, their seminar contributions and involvement in the seminars) and also have the opportunity to develop their skills in chairing a seminar, presenting material and being involved in discussion (including thinking on their feet about the topic being discussed, how to engage interest in the topic and stimulate debate).

Specifically this module aims to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of the range of post-medieval standing buildings in Britain.

  • Critically explore the different academic approaches to historic buildings, including disciplinary distinctions, theoretical perspectives, methodologies, interpretations and connections with wider social processes. 

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should:

  • Understand the key concepts associated with modernity and how this applies to the archaeology of standing buildings.

  • Be familiar with the literature regarding post-medieval standing buildings.

  • Have a solid understanding of the theoretical and methodological issues relating to the archaeological analysis of standing buildings.

  • Be aware of a range of case studies of post-medieval standing buildings, including a range of different building types and from different time periods (early modern, 18th century, 19th century).

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge in a topic of their choosing.

  • Identify the key issues in their chosen topic.

  • Prepare a worksheet which sets out key reading and issues for presentation, debate and discussion, and support the group in the preparation of the seminar.

  • Chair a seminar, engage interest in the topic, stimulate debate and structure discussion.

  • Have a critical awareness of the process of collective debate on a specific topic.

  • Be able to judge the success of a seminar and be able to reflect on this, through a written summary of a seminar.

  • Present on other subjects within the general theme and contribute informed ideas and information in other seminars.

Module content

The post-medieval period is associated with new forms of material culture and new ways of living. Early work by historical archaeologists focused on constructing grand narratives linked to modernity, with themes including the development of capitalism, improvement, rising domestic privacy, new forms of public space, separate spheres for men and women, the Georgian Order and industrialisation. More recent work has highlighted the need to explore the messiness and diversity behind these large-scale themes, utilising small-scale studies and biographical approaches to complicate these narratives. Students will be encouraged to explore these twin perspectives (national/large-scale models and in-depth micro approaches) through the standing buildings of the historical period.

The module begins with introductory lectures that provide an overview of the many different types of post-medieval buildings and some of the current research questions surrounding them. Students will then be guided through the process of choosing a seminar topic (whether a specific theme or type of building) and then developing it with a set of seminar questions and reading lists. 

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Departmental - aural assessment
Chaired Seminar
N/A 20
Departmental - aural assessment
Presentation 1
N/A 20
Departmental - aural assessment
Presentation 2
N/A 20
Departmental - aural assessment
Seminar contribution
N/A 5
Essay/coursework
Critique
N/A 15
Essay/coursework
Seminar Worksheet
N/A 20

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Departmental - aural assessment
Chaired Seminar
N/A 20
Departmental - aural assessment
Presentation 1
N/A 20
Departmental - aural assessment
Presentation 2
N/A 20
Essay/coursework
Critique
N/A 15
Essay/coursework
Seminar Worksheet
N/A 20

Module feedback

Formative: There will be group discussions and opportunities for one-to-one feedback as you prepare for your summative assessments.

Summative: Assessed Seminar modules are exempt from the University's Policy on Feedback Turnaround Time owing to the nature of this assessment (in that the seminar performance is the subject of your critique).  Marks for all elements of the assessment will be uploaded to your e:vision account (your personal University of York online services account) within four weeks of submission of the final reflective critique. 

Indicative reading

  • Newman D (ed.) (2001) The Historical Archaeology of Britain c.1540-1900

  • Vickery A (2008) Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England

  • Markus T A (1993) Buildings and power: freedom and control in the origin of modern building types

Detailed reading for the module will be available via YorkShare (the University's virtual learning environment). When you have enrolled on a module, you will be able to access the full reading list.

 



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students