EL7014 - Early Modern Echoes: Multimedia Appropriations of Early Modern Drama

What will I learn on this module?

How and why has English drama from the early modern been appropriated across media since the years of its inception? Why place such emphasis on reinventing literature from this period in new and complex media forms, in ways that engage with notions of race, sexuality, nationhood, gender, and society that can bear little to no relevance to the early modern literary contexts themselves? This module explores western fascination with early modern literary afterlives, in a range of media forms across four centuries of literary history. You will learn about early modern texts and their authors, and the ways in which they have been reincarnated in theatre, film and television, music, political propaganda, and in visual art forms (including graphic novels). The module inevitably focuses on William Shakespeare, but also extends interest to authors such as Christopher Marlowe, John Webster, Thomas Middleton, and Ben Jonson.

How will I learn on this module?

If you choose to study on campus delivery will be primarily via student-led seminar discussion, facilitated by a tutor. If you choose to study by distance learning you can complete the module via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), populated with on-line learning materials. Whether you are on-site or distance learning you will study the same texts and have access to the same materials. On-site students are encouraged to take part in the discussion boards by way of building a cohort with the distance learning students. The assessment for both on-site and distance learning students is the same combination of non-assessed and assessed e-tivities (on-line tasks). You will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars for on-site students and weekly reading guidance for the distance learning students, where you will be expected to contribute to discussion whether this is in the seminar or through the VLE. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module. Assessments for all students taking this module will include a portfolio of e-tivities that have two roles. First, e-tivities will include non-assessed assessments that ensure the student has the technological capacity in terms of hardware and digital literacy to complete the module. Second, the e-tivities will include the assessed assessments that test the student’s aptitude in relation to the learning outcomes.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Seminars and on-line material will enable you to interrogate the overarching themes of the module will develop your academic skills as you engage with primary, secondary, theoretical and contextual materials to allow you to attain the module learning outcomes. The module handbook provides details of weekly reading and focus, reading lists and assessment criteria and all material are made available on the VLE. The module tutor is available in the seminars for on-site students and by appointment for on-site students, as well as accessible to all via email to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Moreover, feedback on non-assessed work and the first assessed piece of work will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes:
• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)

You are advised to see or contact your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. Distance learning students will also be supported by the on-site cohort, who will engage with the discussion forums and etivities, and an Associate Tutor, who will moderate (rather than facilitate) the online discussions, thereby fulfilling the same role as the seminar tutor.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Understand and critically appraise how ideas of appropriation relate to contexts such as cultural value, consumerism, popular culture, and pedagogy.

2. Recognise the presence of ‘early modern echoes’ across multimedia formats, and the complex links between early and postmodern textual cultures.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Advanced ability to locate and analyse a diverse range of texts, and read them against remote cultural contexts.
4. Sophisticated understanding of appropriation theory and adaptation studies.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Skills commensurate with postgraduate studies, conforming to relevant standards of good academic conduct in the expression of an informed argument in written and oral forms through completing th

How will I be assessed?


Formative assessment will comprise of students’ written contributions to the VLE, in the form of weekly topics of discussion, prompted by the module leader. Each week students will be asked to respond to a particular ‘echo’ relevant to early modern literature and/or culture – be this video clip, script excerpt, poster, meme, etc.

Your tutor will provide ongoing verbal and written feedback on your writing, critical awareness/engagement, and creativity as the semester progresses.


1. Presentation (20%): You will complete a 10-minute presentation (or 1000-word presentation script submission) on one echo of an early modern text – from any media or genre. The feedback that your tutors provide on this piece will support you in the completion of your echo portfolio task.

2. Portfolio (80%): You will also compose one (5,000 word) ‘portfolio’ in relation to one ‘echo type’ within the matrix of appropriations that the module surveys. This ‘echo type’ should build upon the analysis you completed for your presentation assessment task. The portfolio will include a description of the early modern source text, an analytical survey of major echoes, and a short bibliography of critical (secondary) works relevant to the study of these echoes. Your tutor will encourage you to explore strange and undiscovered, obscure and neglected echo forms from a variety of media types and contexts. MLO2,3,5





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full time distance learning
3 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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