Comparative History of Medieval Literature

Course code: MDVLG011 (30 credits)

MDVLG091 Skills and Sources: Comparative Literature (15 credits)

Course tutors: Dr Jane Gilbert and Dr Catherine Keen. Taught by: Dr Haki Antonsson, Dr Sebastian Coxon, Dr Jane Gilbert, Prof. Susan Irvine, Dr Catherine Keen, Prof. Richard North,  Dr Alexander Samson, and other tutors from various departments.

Time: To be discussed between students, provisionally Fridays 11-1

This course is designed to break down barriers between disciplines and departments. It is suitable for historians who want to learn how to use the evidence of literature with the same attention to the structure of their source as they would give to more conventional classes of historical evidence; for vernacular specialists who want to get to know the literature of languages which they have not studied; and for medievalists looking for an informed appreciation of the remarkable range of medieval literary forms, from Icelandic Sagas to Dante's Divine Comedy.

Assessment:  Two 4,000 word essays, submitted by first day of Summer Term. 

Time and location: To be arranged at a mutually convenient time.

Preparatory reading:

  • David Wallace (ed.). The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature. Cambridge, 1999.
  • Ernst Robert Curtius. European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. London, 1953 and numerous editions since.
  • Francisco Rico (ed.). Historia y crítica de la literatura española, 9 vols. Barcelona, 1980-92. Vol I:  Edad Media, ed. A. D. Deyermond.
  • A. D. Deyermond. A Literary History of Spain: The Middle Ages. London, 1971.
  • Richard North (ed.). Beowulf and Other Stories: An Introduction to Old English, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman Literature. Harlow, 2007.
  • Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature. Cambridge, 2008.
  • Sarah Kay, Terence Cave and Malcolm Bowie. A Short History of French Literature. Oxford, 2003.
  • The Cambridge History of Italian Literature, eds Peter Brand and Lino Pertile. 2nd ed. Cambridge, 1999. Chapters 4: Dante (Lino Pertile) and 5: Boccaccio (Pamela Stewart).

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