30 M Introduction
1 W Marie’s Prologue
3 F Marie de France: “Guigemar”
6 M “Guigemar”
8 W “Equitan”
10 F “Bisclavret”
13 M “Lanval”
15 W “Yonec”
17 F “Chaitivel”
20 M “Eliduc”
22 W Chretien de Troyes: “Erec & Enide”
24 F “Erec & Enide”
27 M “Erec & Enide” Paper #1 Due
29 W “Erec & Enide”
1 F “Yvain”
4 M “Yvain”
6 W “Yvain”
8 F “Yvain”
11 M Chaucer: Knight in “General Prologue”
13 W “The Knight’s Tale”
15 F NO CLASS
18 M “The Knight’s Tale” Paper #2 Due
20 W “Wife of Bath’s Prologue”
22 F “Wife of Bath’s Tale”
25 M “Franklin’s Prologue & Tale”
27 W “Tale of Sir Topas”
29 F Catch-up Day
1 M Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part I
3 W Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part II
5 F Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part III
8 M Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Part IV. Paper #3 Due
10 W Pearl, Sections I-V
12 F Pearl, Sections VI-X
15 M Pearl, Sections XI-XV
17 W Pearl, Sections XVI-XX
19 F The Faerie Queene, Book I, Cantos 1-2
22 M The Faerie Queene, Book I, Cantos 3-4
24 W The Faerie Queene, Book I, Cantos 5-6
26 F NO CLASS
29 M The Faerie Queene, Book I, Cantos 7-8
1 W The Faerie Queene, Book I, Cantos 9-10
3 F The Faerie Queene, Book I, Cantos 11-12
6 M Edit Session
8 W Evaluations
13 M Research Papers Due by Noon, OM 369.
This is a discussion-intensive class. It is imperative that you come to class each day fully prepared to engage in a thoughtful and educated conversation about our texts and the cultures that produced them. We will focus on the idea of “romance” in medieval literature by reading prose stories, romances, dream-visions, allegories, and adventures to explore how this literature expressed ideas about how men and women create both identity and belonging; how gender roles both shaped and were shaped by ideas of identity and community; how morality was conceived, betrayed, and served; how class and its attendant functions of language (reading, writing, listening, etc), affects both the characters in the literature and the audience of the stories.
So, that’s a lot. How do we get there? We’ll start by reading slowly and carefully, by allowing the text to determine the terms and measures of our readerly analysis. We’ll understand that these books were written a long time ago for an audience we might well consider quite alien to us and our sensibilities. But just as when you enter a stranger’s house and you take off your shoes if that’d what’s done, or don’t smoke, or force down an obligatory beverage of welcome—so here we will look for the “rules” of each text and behave our readerly selves accordingly. The meta-stuff can come AFTER we learn the terms of the other world.
Reading: KEEP UP! Read at least twice; this isn’t a newspaper. There will be words you don’t know, customs you are unfamiliar with, and a lot of religious considerations that you might be a stranger to. Write questions in the margins; circle and later look up any words you do not understand. Keep a reading journal. Keep asking yourself: what are the rules of this world? How do its characters understand reality? How does the author seems to expect the reader (the medieval reader, or listener) to understand reality? When is the author being satirical? Humorous? Serious? What is the relationship between the author and his or her characters? What is the genre of the text (allegory, lai, epic, dream-vision, etc.) and how does the genre determine the work’s meaning?
Required Texts: The Lais of Marie de France. Hanning &
Ferrante, trans. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: Baker, 2008
Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer. Kolve, ed.
Arthurian Romances. Chretien De Troyes. Kibler, trans.
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight/Patience/Pearl.
Trans.New York: Yale UP, 2001.
The Faerie Queene, Book I. Edmund Spenser.
Ed. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2006
Office Hours: MWF 10-11, TR 8:30-9:30, 11-1*
And By Appointment
*I sometimes have meetings during part of the 11-1 hours.
Grading: Paper #1 10%
Paper #2 10%
Paper # 3 10%
Research Paper 40%
Students with special needs must contact the instructor as soon as possible and he will make all reasonable accommodations.
Students suspected of plagiarism will have to convince the instructor that their work is original. Plagiarists will fail the class.
You must complete all assignment to pass the class.
Late papers are occasionally accepted if arrangements are made prior to the due date. Late papers often have a habit of lowering your paper grade by one letter a day.
Students who miss more than three classes will have their final grades lowered by one decrement per absence.