MER - Medieval Renaissance

ME/R 246 Monsters, Villains, and Wives

This course will select its monsters, villains, and wives from early English, French, and Anglo-Norman literature, ranging from the giant Grendel (and his mother) in Beowulf to the arch-villain Ganelon in The Song of Roland, from Guinevere to the wife of the enigmatic Green Man in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We will finish by considering the survival of the magical villain in a modern-day fantasy classic like the medievalist J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbit, or a volume in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, and in John Gardner's recasting of the Beowulf story, Grendel.

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

ENG 246

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Not Offered

Degree Requirements

LL

ME/R 247 Arthurian Legends

The legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, with their themes of chivalry, magic, friendship, war, adventure, corruption, and nostalgia, as well as romantic love and betrayal, make up one of the most influential and enduring mythologies in European culture. This course will examine literary interpretations of the Arthurian legend, in history, epic, and romance, from the sixth century through the sixteenth. We will also consider some later examples of Arthuriana, on page and movie screen, in the Victorian and modern periods.

Instructor

Wall-Randell (English)

Prerequisites

None.

Cross Listed Courses

ENG 247

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Summer I

Degree Requirements

LL

ME/R 249 Writing Medieval Gender in England

This course will mine the earliest beginnings of English literary history for new answers about how gender constructions have been and can be fluid, rigid, oppressive, or liberating. We'll find that nearly all early English scribes identified as male (if they identified themselves at all), we can still perceive the voices, bodies, and experiences of authors and subjects who identified as women, men, girls, boys, or none of these, or who moved from one gender identity to others, or who remained somewhere in between. We'll supplement our Old and Middle English readings (most of them in translation) with short, acces­sible samples from modern theoretical writing on gender, sexuality, and queerness.

Instructor

Sergi (English)

Prerequisites

None

Cross Listed Courses

ENG 249

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall

Degree Requirements

LL

ME/R 275 Between Transcendence and Transgression: Desire from Dante to Milton

This course takes as its focus the discourses of desire informing some of the major works of English and Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. Through an exploration of the themes of transcendence and transgression in Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Ariosto, and Milton, students will analyze the dynamics of desire (whether sexual, psychological or textual) that open up exciting vistas on the tensions between human and divine love, excess and control, lack and fulfillment, suffering and joy. The roles of transcendence and transgression will also be considered in the relationship each author entertains with his or her literary models and predecessors to see how desire shapes a dialogue across geographical and temporal boundaries.

Instructor

Southerden (Italian Studies)

Prerequisites

None.

Cross Listed Courses

ITAS 275

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Spring

Degree Requirements

LL

ME/R 350 Research or Individual Study

Prerequisites

Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None

ME/R 360 Senior Thesis Research

Prerequisites

Permission of the department.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None

ME/R 370 Senior Thesis

Prerequisites

MER 360 and permission of the department.

Unit(s)

1.0

Semesters Offered

Fall, Spring

Degree Requirements

None
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