Course Description

What MADE a man in the Middle Ages? Wielding weapons or paying undying loyalty to a lord? Becoming a self-sacrificing lover or suppressing bodily desires? Governing one’s actions or governing the realm? In this odyssey, we’ll encounter a range of social positions…

Course Description

Medieval books – handmade, unique, messy, beautiful -- were nothing like the mass-produced printed books you have on your shelf. What were books like in the Middle Ages? How were they constructed, written upon, decorated? How is the experience of reading a medieval…

Course Description

Medieval books – handmade, unique, messy, beautiful -- were nothing like the mass-produced printed books you have on your shelf. What were books like in the Middle Ages? How were they constructed, written upon, decorated? How is the experience of reading a medieval…

Medieval books – handmade, unique, messy, beautiful - are nothing like the mass-produced printed books you have on your shelf. What were books like in the Middle Ages? How were they constructed, written upon, decorated? What kinds of pigments, inks, and papers did they use? And how can we use…

The twenty-first century doesn't have the market cornered on kickass women. In this FYOS, we'll learn about some seriously bad women from medieval Europe, the books they wrote, and the books written for them. Women like Hildegard of…

Description

From the time writing was introduced along with Christianity in the seventh century, England has enjoyed a lively literary culture. That literature both shaped and was shaped by its cultural milieu, and in turn has helped form contemporary literary tastes and values. Much of…

From the time writing was introduced along with Christianity in the seventh century, England has enjoyed a lively literary culture. That literature both shaped and was shaped by its cultural milieu, and in turn has helped form contemporary literary tastes and values. Much of that literature was…

The plays of Shakespeare could not have been written by a woman, Virginia Woolf famously opined, because medieval and early modern women were not allowed the economic and educational advantages of men.  In this class we will read the works of many of those English women, some highly educated and…

Course Description

The twelfth century was a time of rapid historical and cultural change in the medieval world, and women were at the center of it. In this course, we’ll focus on three major events in the century – the Norman Conquest of England, the rise of the universities and…

We know of very few named medieval Englishwomen who actually wrote their own texts – that is, actually put pen to parchment themselves. On the other hand, we also know that medieval Englishwomen were deeply involved in the expanding book culture of medieval and early modern England as readers,…

Fragments of the Past: Working with Medieval Books

Description

This will not be your typical literature class. We will spend limited time reading and analyzing literary texts. Rather, this course will be both seminar and practicum on the physical makeup, use, and decoding of…

Description

This will not be your typical literature class. We will spend limited time reading and analyzing literary texts. Rather, this course will be both seminar and practicum on the physical makeup, use, and decoding of medieval manuscripts. Medieval books predate the printing…

Description

So much well-known medieval literature stems from the geographic and linguistic center of England - London and its environs - that it’s easy to forget the vibrant literary cultures that flourished at the margins of the kingdom. This class takes the idea of the border as its…

Unlike post-Romantic literature, which privileges the individual poet's novelty and originality, most medieval literature reworked older, authoritative stories from classical and contemporary medieval literatures -- or at least it claimed to, even when its authors were actually creating new…

Description

Father of English literature, writer of bawdy tales, creator of lifelike pilgrim characters: Geoffrey Chaucer is all this and so much more.  This class will introduce you to Middle English literature and its historical context through the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, including…

Description

What does Chaucer have to do with rap, or medieval Canterbury to do with modern London? More than you might think. We call Chaucer the "Father of English Literature," but that label turns him into a literary relic. Sure, some of the Canterbury Tales are funny (bawdy…

Noble Saints and Holy Kings: Genre-Mixing in Medieval Romance

Romance deals primarily with deeds of knightly derring-do; with affairs of the heart; and with secular virtues like loyalty, honor, and gentility. That should make it different from related genres, like…

In this course, we will read a variety of Middle English "popular literature" before Chaucer -- the romance -- paying particular attention to those romances and related texts contained in one famous medieval "anthology," the Auchinleck Manuscript. After reading widely among the various types of…

Maymester 2015
 

Medieval books – handmade, unique, messy, beautiful -- were nothing like the mass-produced printed books you have on your shelf. Reading medieval literature in its original manuscript context is a multi-modal process more exciting than reading medieval poetry in a…

When you think "medieval," do you think soaring cathedrals and stately castles, or stone gargoyles and grotesques frolicking in page margins? In this class, we'll focus on the latter: the aesthetic of the hybrid, the monstrous, and the grotesque that much medieval literature sets in opposition…

Medieval Manuscripts and Where To Find Them

This will not be your typical literature class. We will spend limited time reading and analyzing literary texts. Rather, this course will be both seminar and practicum on the physical makeup, use, and decoding of medieval manuscripts. Medieval…

ENGL 4980: Zombie Poetics

Course Description

Ghost: Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing

To what I shall unfold.

Hamlet: Speak; I am bound to hear.

When the dead speak, the living are “bound…

Did medieval English authors consider themselves to be “English,” and if so, what did it mean? Was writing in Middle English (rather than French or Latin) a marker of national pride? How did medieval authors define their communities geographically, ethnically, historically, linguistically? In…

Description

Father of English literature, writer of bawdy tales, creator of lifelike pilgrim characters: Geoffrey Chaucer is all this and so much more.  This class will introduce you to Middle English literature and its historical context through the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, including…

Dryden’s claim that Chaucer was the “father of English poetry” is familiar enough – but what exactly does that mean, and (ultimately) why Chaucer? Why not the Gawain-poet, Gower, or Langland? Such questions find immediate responses in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when Chaucer's…

English Literature 1460-1530

Course Description:

Falling between the death of John Lydgate and the rise of reformation polemic, the period 1460-1530 has been treated as a no-man’s land in England’s literary history; C. S. Lewis influentially characterized it as a “Drab Age”…