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Romancing the Medieval (ENGL30046)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeENGL30046
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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.

Generic skills

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.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects

106-330 Romancing the Medieval

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • One essay of 1,500 words (40%), due mid-semester
  • An essay of 2,500 words (60%), due in the examination period.
  • Hurdle: This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorStephanie Trigg
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursTotal 30 hours: a 1 hour seminar and a 1.5 hour tutorial per week.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    • Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, ed. Boenig and Taylor (Broadview);
    • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. William Vantuono (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press);
    • Malory Le Morte D'Arthur: The Winchester Manuscript, ed. Helen Cooper (Oxford Worlds Classics);
    • Seamus Heaney, Beowulf: A Verse Translation, ed. Daniel Donoghue (Norton)
  • Subject notes

    Students who have completed 106-038/670-324 Medievalism in Contemporary Culture and/or 106-053/670-329 Chaucer and the Birth of the Author are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 10 August 2019