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This subject develops two main threads. It introduces students to one of the main genres of medieval literature, the romance, with a special focus on the representation of love, sex, and desire in the Middle Ages, and especially the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Malory and the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It also examines the phenomenon of ‘romancing’ medieval culture in the various traditions and genres of modern medievalism; especially in medievalist fiction and film (both historical and fantasy). Some of the medieval texts will be read in Middle English; others in modern translation. No prior experience in medieval literature is assumed.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- familiarity with one of the main genres of medieval literature;
- a reading knowledge of Chaucerian English;
- an understanding of the main trends in medievalism; and
- some familiarity with the critical traditions of reading medieval and medievalist literature.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- have the ability to develop critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;
- have the ability to apply research skills (especially in library and on-line resources) and critical methods to a tradition and an emerging field of inquiry;
- have improved their capacity to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in class discussions;
- have developed skills in readings texts in different genres; and
- have the ability to think critically about the relations between academic and popular forms of knowledge about the past.
Last updated: 3 October 2023