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How did medieval writers conceptualise emotions, passions, and feelings? This subject will introduce students to a selection of medieval English texts in a range of narrative and dramatic genres that privilege different forms of emotional practice: romance, lyric, allegory, confessional writing, and religious texts, focusing on the crucifixion of Christ. The subject also offers a detailed study of Chaucer's magnificent Trojan love story, Troilus and Criseyde. We will read these texts through the frameworks of contemporary critical discussions of history of emotions and affect theory. No prior knowledge of Middle English is assumed in this subject, which is designed as an introduction to medieval literature and culture.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be familiar with some of the main genres of medieval literature;
- have a reading knowledge of Middle English; and
- have an enhanced understanding of contemporary critical debates about the history of emotions in the field of medieval studies.
At the completion of this subject, students should have gained generic skills in:
- conceptualising and planning an original research project;
- communicating arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in group discussions;
- developing critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;
- applying research skills (especially in library and online resources) and critical methods to traditional and emerging fields of inquiry;
- detailed readings of a range of texts in different media; and
- contrasting traditional and contemporary forms of knowledge about the past.
Last updated: 29 April 2020