ENGL 325 A1: Medieval Literature and Culture: Medieval Texts

L. Schechter

Primarily imagined as a survey of medieval texts, this course will introduce students to a range of materials originally produced in Old and Middle English. Although students will hear the original languages in class, texts will be read in modern English and context will be given for any discussions of now obsolete diction. The class will focus on four themes of crucial importance to the various groups inhabiting Britain from the tenth to the fifteenth century: the relationship between pagan spiritualities and Christianity; gendered experiences, marriage, and chivalry; monsters and magic; and cultural exchange and understandings of foreignness. All students will participate in the public staging of a medieval play, but students may be able to show their participation in this graded assignment through work that is not based in staged performance. Students may be able to offer an initial exposition of the staging, write an adaptation for group performance, or provide theatre tech help, for example.