RLFR 208
Queens, Crusaders and Cannibals: Gender, Race and Religion in Medieval and Renaissance France Fall 2019
Division I

Class Details

The intersection of gender, race, and religion is at the heart of contemporary political and social debates. How to build a nation and how to live together were also key questions for Medieval and Renaissance writers. In this introductory course in Early Modern Literature, we will study how literary works from the 11th to the 16th centuries represented conflicting debates on gender, race, and religion, from the Crusades opposing Christians and Muslims, to the Wars of Religion opposing Catholics and Protestants. We will explore how these concepts were intertwined in courtly love poems and chivalric novels in Europe, and how they were redefined in humanist writings and travel narratives to the Americas. Through an investigation of epic poems, allegories, tales, sonnets, novels, travel narratives, and essays by Marie de France, Christine de Pisan, Pierre de Ronsard, Louise Labé, François Rabelais, Michel de Montaigne and Marguerite de Valois, students will compare cultural, political, and ideological debates in Early Modern France with 21st-century questions on racism, sexism and discrimination.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 1987
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation, weekly written responses, midterm exam, and final project
Prerequisites: exceptional performance in RLFR 105, strong performance in RLFR 106, or by Placement Test, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: French majors and French certificate students, and those with compelling justification for admission
Distributions: Division I

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