Travel and Writing in the Middle Ages
Code: MDVLGE14 (may also be taken in conjunction with 15 credit MDVLGE94 Skills and Sources module - MARS STUDENTS ONLY)
Module Tutors: Dr Marilyn Corrie, Dr Natalie Jones and Dr Elizabeth Dearnley
The module 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 module 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 for MDVLGE14: 2 X 5,000 word essays
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