ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Section: 001 Visions and Madness
Term: WN 2012
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Touched by God or touched by insanity? Prophetic or schizophrenic? Divine or delusional? Religious fervor and mental (in)stability have always been closely intertwined. This class will explore how people in the Middle Ages tried to distinguish the two, and the ways in which visions and madness found both beautiful and frightening expression in premodern literature. Questions related to gender, sex, power, the abject, and the erotic will drive our discussions.

We will concentrate on first-person narratives with special attention to how visionary literature shaped the genre of autobiography. Readings will be drawn from some of the most striking texts to survive pre-modern England — from the fourteenth-century The Book of Margery Kempe to Malory’s Morte Darthur to Shakespeare’s Hamlet — as well as from modern psychologists and critics, such as Freud and Foucault.

Course Requirements:

class participation; short writing responses; two essays; class presentation

Intended Audience:

No prior knowledge of the Middle Ages or Middle English required.

Class Format:

No data submitted

ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (REC)
1Dept Hnrs Major
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Coursepack Location:
ISBN: 0393929582
Hamlet : text of the play, the actors' gallery, contexts, criticism, afterlives, resources, Author: Shakespeare, William., Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co 2010
ISBN: 0393976394
The book of Margery Kempe : a new translation, contexts, criticism, Author: transl. and ed. by Lynn Staley., Publisher: Norton 1. ed. 2001
ISBN: 0393979156
Showings : authoritative text, contexts, criticism, Author: Julian of Norwich ; edited by Denise N. Baker., Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. 1st ed. 2005
ISBN: 0393925889
Dream visions and other poems, Author: Geoffrey Chaucer ; edited by Kathryn L. Lynch., Publisher: W.W. Norton 2007
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