L208 1949 LINDENBAUM S
Topics in English and American Literature and Culture

11:15a-12:05p MWF

TOPIC: THE MEDIEVAL COURT: ROMANCE AND REALITY (THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR CULTURE STUDIES CREDIT [CSA].)

This course asks students to imagine what it was like to live at the court of a king or great nobleman in the late Middle Ages. Exploring both the romance and the harsh actualities of noble life, we'll study the lord's castle and retainers, the sources of his wealth, and the important roles played by aristocratic women. We'll find out what everyday life in the castle was like, as lords and ladies (and their servants) pursued their daily occupations and amusements. Special attention will be paid to their encounters with people from other cultures. You will read stories of chivalry and courtly love (including legends of King Arthur), personal narratives of life at court, selections from books of noble manners, and a description of a tournament. We'll also view at least one Hollywood version of the medieval court.

Students will be expected to participate actively in the class discussions. A series of short papers and research projects will ask you to recreate specific aspects of life in a noble household.

Feel free to contact the instructor (e-mail lindenb) if you have questions about any aspect of the course.