Course Outline

Medieval Drama: The Towneley Plays (research practicum)

Winter 1998
Official Meeting time: MWF 1000 - 1050
SS 012

Instructor: Murray McGillivray
Phone: 220-3845 or messages at 220-5470
Office: Social Sciences 1102
e-mail: mmcgilli@acs.ucalgary.ca
home page: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~mmcgilli
Office hours: WF 1100-1150

Nature of the Course:

All students should know at the outset that this course is not a traditional classroom course but a hands-on "research practicum". All of the teaching and learning in the course will take place in the context of a collaborative research project, which students will be working on with the instructor: course members will collaborate with the isntructor and his graduate assistant(s) in producing an edition of the five or six plays from the Towneley (a.k.a. Wakefield) Corpus Christi cycle. At the end of the course the edition will be published on the World Wide Web; there is also the possibility of print publication. (Students will be given full credit for their editorial work on the title page or electronic title page of any and all publications that result from the course.)

Although it will be necessary to have some formal classroom meetings, most of the work of the course will take place in teams composed of about three students, plus the instructor and graduate assistant(s) (who will be members of all teams). For this reason, most of the scheduled classroom meetings will be cancelled in favour of weekly team meetings. Students who do not have an e-mail address will have to get one for class communication via listserv. During the first few classes, we will organize the project teams and schedule team meetings so that they will be convenient for everyone. Each team will edit a single play.

The activities that students can expect to be involved in as they edit their play include the following, some traditional and scholarly, some using more marketable job skills:

*transcription (of the play from the facsimile of the Towneley manuscript)
*proofreading (of the play text against the manuscript)
*evaluation of schemes for electronic and print representation (of the manuscript text)
*use of secondary sources (to illuminate aspects of the play text)
*production of Web pages
*writing (of annotations and glossary entries)
*planning of the Web site
*learning of Web formats such as HTML, SGML, and XML

Students will also have an opportunity to attend occasional events and presentations sponsored by the Philology Research Group.


Evaluation of student work in the course will be done according to the following scheme:



Electronic Text-----------------25%

Glossing and annotation---------25%

Contribution to reaserch team----20%

The first four components (transcription, proofreading, electronic text, and glossing and annotation) will be evaluated by the instructor on the basis of work submitted by the student> The fourth component (contribution to research team) will be evaluated using a "360 degree" evaluation process in which each team member will give an appraisal of her or his own contirubtion and of that of each of the other members of the team; these appraisals will be collated by the instructor, who will determine and assign the grade.


Students will not have to buy any texts for this course. The main textual object (the facsimile of the Towneley drama manuscript) will be placed on reserve at the library, and team members will all receive photocopies of the sections they are working on. Additional texts and reference works will be placed on reserve as needed. A list of those works that have been placed on reserve for the whole term will be distributed at the second class.


It is a founding assumption of a research practicum based on collaborative research that course members will in fact collaborate with one another, not compete against each other. Our relations with each other should be open and honest and we should try to help the team succeed, because it is in our interest to do so. Some of the tasks that you will be doing will be very unfamiliar, so if you find yourself over your head please ask for help. If you see someone having difficulty with something you understand, please offer your help.

Finally, please do let me know as soon as possible if anything is not going right for you in the course, or if I can help you to resolve any kind of a problem with it. I want the course to be a happy and successful experience for all of us.

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