ENG32070 Medieval Celluloid

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module aims to raise awareness of two periods of cultural production which, though remote from each other in point of time, nevertheless seem to share many preoccupations in common. It will investigate some of the ways in which the modern and postmodern era continues to invest in the Middle Ages, especially as these are represented in film. By counterpointing texts from two ends of this timescale (a selection of medieval prose, poetry, and drama, with modern and postmodern film), the course will clarify our present stance in relation to the medieval past, and ask whether that past meets, exceeds, or falls short of, the expectations of it that our culture has manufactured.

Films studied in this module include: Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins; David Fincher's Se7en; Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal; Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven; Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Name of the Rose.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, you should be able to understand better how aspects of modern and postmodern culture are in a creative dialogue with the culture of the medieval past. You will identify and engage with key theoretical issues in this area, including those of adaptation, translation, and reconfiguration of literary and historical materials.

Indicative Module Content:

Key topics of the module include:

The persistent fascination with the Middle Ages

Medievalism, that is, different ways of reconstructing and imagining the Middle Ages

An examination of film appropriations of specific medieval cultural products, such as the chivalric code, the crusades, ars moriendi, the seven deadly sins, manuscripts, and religion

Adaptation and transmediation of medieval texts to film


Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Seminar, which will include short lecture, followed by discussion. In some classes, there will be set tasks and student presentations. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Final essay (4000 words) Unspecified n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Literature review and related interpretative analysis task. Unspecified n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided in individual consultation for the midterm assignment. There will be consultations available for comment on essay plans in advance of the final assignment.