ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Section: 002 Literature and Time in Medieval England
Term: FA 2013
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:

This class surveys a wide range of major medieval texts, taking the representation of time as a central theme. How did medieval literature theorize the different kinds of time that organized natural, political, and spiritual life: the day, the seasons, the year, chronological history, and religious models for alternatives to secular time? We will read lyric poems that contrast the time of the seasons or the day with the timelessness of love and spirituality; Chaucer’s great romance, Troilus and Crisedye, which explores the relationship in imagines between the classical past and a medieval present; and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which asks whether it is possible to equate one person’s experience of time to that of someone else. We will look at historical writing that addresses the difficulty of writing a coherent national history from events that happen in different local places, creating separate and sometimes overlapping chronologies, and we will consider how political crises in the late Middle Ages were understood to disrupt time itself. We will also read the writings of some important women writers who reject secular time (social and political time) in favor of an alternative spiritual time. Our discussion will be deepened by some theoretical and critical readings on narrative, temporality, and history.

Course Requirements:

Assignments will include an annotated bibliography, two short essays, and a longer essay that revises and expands one of the short papers.

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (REC)
19LSA Hnrs Jr>
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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