2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Apr 25, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog

ENG 250 - Medieval Literature

Explores medieval literary culture of Western Europe by means of literary theoretical and classical texts. For undergraduate English majors, this course satisfies the Period (D-1)requirement. Themes vary each year, and the seminar can be taken more than once for credit, as long as each time a different theme is chosen.

SPRING 2019 - Medieval Women Writers
This course examines a range of female-authored texts from the Middle Ages, ranging in date from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries. Given the limitations on women’s writing, this body of work is remarkable for its size and scope: we will read letters written by Anglo-Saxon nuns, romances, fables, love poetry, love letters, medical texts, mystical and visionary literature, theology, autobiography, utopian literature, political theory, and correspondence between aristocratic women. Throughout these readings  we will confront the question of what “women’s writing” means.  Can we find essential characteristics of female-authored texts? Can we locate a female literary ethos in particular genres, or are we encountering a fortuitous selection of “typical” medieval literature? Much of our time will be spent on how women viewed themselves and their own bodies. Female bodies were constrained by a complicated network of social, economic, and political forces, which  intersected with activities that we think of as historical (e.g., the nature of women’s work), literary (e.g., the function and style of women’s poetry), and religious (the tradition of female mysticism). Texts will include works by Hildegard of Bingen, Heloïse, Marie de France, female troubadours, Cristina Mirabilis,  Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, the Pastons, Christine de Pizan, and Joan of Arc.




Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered Periodically