Accessibility statement

Joan of Arc - HIS00032H

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  • Department: History
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Craig Taylor
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

Joan of Arc was born in 1412 and grew up during a time of civil war and invasion. At the age of just seventeen, she rode into battle to unite France against English domination in the Hundred Years War and in 1431, aged only nineteen, she was put on trial for heresy and sorcery by an ecclesiastical court of the Inquisition and was burned at the stake. Her story represents a virtually unique confluence of some of the key themes of medieval history: Joan had an extraordinary impact upon the military and political situation in both fifteenth-century France and England, arguably turning the tide of the Hundred Years War in favour of Charles VII.

The fact that she achieved all of this as a mere peasant girl amplifies the magnitude of her achievements but also opens up other ways of looking at her story: her trial for heresy provides an important window into contemporary attitudes towards religion and gender, as Joan was effectively persecuted by the established Church for her supposedly non-conformist views on spirituality and the role of women. This special subject will open up this wide-ranging story to students, enabling them to investigate the life and contemporary reputation of Joan of Arc within a contextual and critical framework.

                                  

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to in depth study of a specific historical topic using primary and secondary material;
  • To enable students to explore the topic through discussion and writing; and
  • To enable students to evaluate and analyse primary sources.

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will:

  • Grasp key themes, issues and debates relevant to the topic being studied;
  • Have acquired knowledge and understanding about that topic;
  • Be able to comment on and analyse original sources;
  • Be able to relate the primary and secondary material to one another; and
  • Have acquired skills and confidence in close reading and discussion of texts and debates.

Module content

Teaching Programme:

Students will attend a 1-hour briefing in week 1 of the autumn term, and a 3-hour seminar in weeks 2-5 and 7-9 of the autumn term and weeks 2-5 and 7-10 of the spring term. Both the autumn and spring terms include a reading week for final year students and so there will be no teaching in week 6. Students prepare for and participate in fifteen three-hour seminars. One-to-one meetings will also be held to discuss the assessed essay.

Seminar topics are subject to variation, but are likely to include the following:

Seminars 1-2 - The military and political background
Seminars 2-4 - Contemporary reactions to Joan (1429-1430)
Seminars 5-8 - The Rouen Trial (1431)
Seminars 9-10 - Remembering Joan (1431-1455)
Seminars 11-13 - The Nullification Trial (1455-1456)
Seminars 14-15 - Debating gender & religion

 

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 4,000 words
N/A 50
Online Exam
Online Exam
8 hours 50

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

For formative assessment, students will be given the opportunity to do practice gobbets and then required to write a 2,000-word procedural essay relating to the themes and issues of the module in either the autumn or spring term.

For summative assessment, students complete a 4,000-word essay which utilises an analysis of primary source materials to explore a theme or topic relating to the module, due in week 5 of the summer term.

They then take a three-hour closed examination for summative assessment in the summer term assessment period comprising: one essay question relating to themes and issues, but showing an awareness of the pertinent sources that underpin these AND one ‘gobbet’ question (where students attempt two gobbets from a slate of eight).

The essay and exam are weighted equally at 50% each.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 4,000 words
N/A 50
Online Exam
Online Exam
8 hours 50

Module feedback

Following their formative assessment task, students will receive written feedback that will include comments and a mark within 10 working days of submission

Work will be returned to students in their seminars and may be supplemented by the tutor giving some oral feedback to the whole group. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their procedural work during their tutor’s student hours. For more information, see the Statement on Feedback.

For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline unless submitted in week 5 of the summer term, in which case these are available within 25 working days. The tutor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement of Assessment.

 

Indicative reading

For term time reading, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, we encourage you to look at the following items of preliminary reading:

Taylor, Larissa Juliet. The Virgin Warrior. The Life and Death of Joan of Arc. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009.

Castor, Helen. Joan of Arc. London, 2015.

Joan of Arc, La Pucelle. Ed. And trans. Craig Taylor. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006.



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.