Travel and Writing in the Middle Ages
MDVLGE14 (30 credits, full year)
MDVLGE94 Skills and Sources: Travel and Writing in the Middle Ages (15 credits)
Marilyn Corrie, Natalie Jones and Elizabeth Dearnley
Every other Wednesday 11-1, both terms
The course will explore different kinds of writing about travel in the Middle Ages: writing based on people’s actual experiences, writing growing out of people’s imaginations, and writing that blends the two. After an introductory session discussing some of the impetuses to travel in the Middle Ages, and ideas about different kinds of borders in the period (and the barriers to, and significance of, transgressing them), the course will explore such topics as travel to the Holy Land, via crusading and pilgrimage, travel to the more distant East, travel into more nebulous lands, as undertaken by knights on their quests, and travel out of the mortal world, as experienced (purportedly) by some holy men and women – or men and women who were not holy enough. Texts studied will include ‘crusading’ romances such as The Siege of Jerusalem; Mandeville’s Travels; chivalric lais and romances, as exemplified by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; and the accounts of such visionaries as Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe.
Assessment: Two essays of up to 5,000 words each
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