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Transformations in Literary Culture in Post-Conquest England


Admission requirements



This course is devoted to the dispersal and consumption of Latin and vernacular texts in Post-Conquest England. The course is based upon three major transformations in book culture between 1066 and c. 1500: 1) The arrival and influence of Norman monks (11th-13th centuries); 2) The emergence and establishment of the commercially-made book (14th-15th centuries); 3). The introduction of the printing press (15th century). Each of these transformations significantly impacted book culture, but as a consequence also the availability, dispersal, and consumption of texts. This course explores both the individual transformations as cultural-historical events and their broader significance for literary culture in England.

Course objectives

  • To introduce students to the culture of the handwritten book in Post-Conquest England.

  • To highlight and explore significant influences on the availability and dispersal of literature in English society.

  • To demonstrate how the study of medieval literature benefits from understanding of the main medium in which these texts circulated – books.


Timetable on the website

Mode of instruction

Weekly seminars

Course Load

The course load is 140 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending seminars: 26 hours

  • Time for studying compulsory literature and discussion questions preparation: 39 hours

  • Time for writing papers: 75 hours

Assessment method

  • Essay: 60%

  • Outline: 10%

  • Submitting discussion questions: 10%

  • Class participation: 20%

The average grade of the four components should be 6.0 or higher.


Blackboard will be used (general information, supplying additional readings)

Reading list

A selection of articles and book chapters.


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Media Studies student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;

Coordinator of studies: Mr. J. Donkers, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 1.02b.