COMP 237
Medieval Worlds
Last Offered Spring 2019
Division I
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

While the word “medieval” was first used to designate the period in European history between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, historians and literary scholars frequently use the term to label periods in other regions and cultures that not only overlap chronologically with the European Middle Ages, but also appear to share similarities in terms of technology, social structures, and religious orientation. This course examines the notion of the “medieval” primarily through the lens of literature. We will read “medieval” works ranging from the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf to the landscape poems and folktales of eighth-century China, from a Persian epic to a Sanskrit story-cycle, and the diary of a Japanese court lady. Topics will include the following: How did people create, experience, and transmit literary texts in different medieval cultures? What where the material conditions of literature in these cultures, and how did they impact the development of literature? What roles did religion play in texts that are not explicitly religious? What does it mean to think of the medieval as a category across different cultures?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 10
Class#: 3488
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: preparation and active participation in class, several short (1- to 2-page) reflection papers, two mid-length (4- to 5-page) papers or projects
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Comparative Literature majors and prospective majors
Distributions: Division I

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