Medieval England: Chivalry, Faith and the Plague
The course will provide a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the literature of the Middle Ages, in a survey that will attempt to place texts remote from our modern era in their social and historical contexts. For this offering of the course, an emphasis will be placed on the fictional "universes" implicit in various medieval conceptions of the Otherworld, as well as theoretical analyses of boundary-crossing and "liminality." We will read and discuss important works of prose and poetry from the early Middle Ages and the Middle English periods, including works by a range of Anglo-Saxon poets and prose authors; neglected Middle English works including, _The Owl and the Nightingale_ and treatments of the _Morte Arthure_ theme written before the time of Malory; and a selection of non-canonical items. There will be a mid-term, final, and major term paper.