English | Middle English Literature
L306 | 16361 | Karma Lochrie

Karma Lochrie

2:30p-3:45p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

TOPIC:  “Sex and Love in the Middle Ages”

Did the Middle Ages have sex?  Contrary to popular ideas of the
Middle Ages, it was a culture that invented our modern concept of
love and that understood sex and sexuality in much more complex ways
than we do today.  Although many people assume the medieval church
somehow policed and censored medieval sexual expression, in fact,
the church of the Middle Ages was much less interested in
controlling sexuality than many modern religious movements are.  In
this course, we will investigate medieval attitudes towards sex and
gender through a variety of texts, including works by Chaucer, the
Gawain poet, Margery Kempe, Marie de France, and many others.  Many
of the texts we read will be in Middle English, which students will
learn to read and translate, as well as pursue its words for sex and
gender concepts.  In addition, the course will include critical and
historical commentary on the issues we are studying.  Requirements
include two papers (8-10 pages in length), some short response
pieces, a midterm and final examination.  One of the long papers
will be a research paper.