ENGLISH 541 - Literature of the Medieval Period
Section: 001 The Sacred and the Secular in Late Medieval Literature
Term: WN 2014
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Undergrad and Grad
Meet Together Classes:
Primary Instructor:

This class surveys the medieval genre of romance, stories of knightly adventure and romantic love that served to explore conflicting claims of private passion and social obligation. Romances address a range of fascinating questions about gender and sexuality, the relationship between violence and the sacred, the uses of history, and the possibility of human agency in the face of social constraint, random chance, and pre-ordained fate. After a consideration of some foundational French romances, we will read the major English examples including Marie de France, Lais, Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (a poem which rivals the Canterbury Tales in greatness), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory, Morte Darthur (from the perspectives of their formal features, their historical contexts, and their actual and imagined audiences. At the end of the term, we turn briefly to the afterlife of medieval romance in critical theory, ranging from Northop Frye’s, formalism, to Lacan’s psychoanalysis, and Fredric Jameson’s historicism.

Course Requirements:

Course requirements include: an annotated bibliography on a primary text, two short essays, one of which will be revised and extended as a final paper, and regular, informed contributions to the seminar (written and spoken).

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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ENGLISH 541 - Literature of the Medieval Period
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780268038106
Pearl : an edition with verse translation, Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press 1995
ISBN: 9781580441254
Amis and Amiloun, Robert of Cisyle, and Sir Amadace, Author: edited by Edward E. Foster., Publisher: Medieval Institute Publications 2nd ed. 2007
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