History | Medieval Heroes
E104 | 0114 | Shopkow
Who were the heroes of the Middle Ages? How did changes in medieval
society create changes in people's thinking about heroes? And how do
heroes in general meet societal needs? Although people tend to think
that heroes simply act heroically, these actions need to be noticed
and celebrated by the society for someone to become a hero. These are
the issues we will discuss this semester.
This course will be divided into a short introductory unit,
and four units devoted to individual heroes or types of heroes. We
will discuss the warrior hero, the holy hero, the rebel hero, and the
heroine. For each unit, lectures and readings will describe the
society producing the hero, and we will read medieval stories about
the hero. The class will also split into discussion sections.
Skills: The emphasis in this course will be on helping
students to develop their ability to read and interpret a variety of
primary sources (sources from the Middle Ages themselves), such as
biographies, histories, and fiction, and to write more effectively.
Assignments: Short weekly writing assignments about the
readings, two take-home essay exams, and a two-hour in-class final
examination. Students will be graded on these assignments, as well
as class participation in discussion section.