English | Middle English Literature
L306 | 2072 | Lochrie

L306 2072 LOCHRIE
Middle English Literature

11:15a-12:05p MWF (30) 3 CR.

TOPIC:  “Medieval Women Writers”

"If women had written stories," Chaucer's Wife of Bath laments, they
could have exposed the evils of men, but what she did not know is
that medieval women were writing and that they were far too busy to
worry about the men.  From nuns to mystics, to housewives to
professional writers, there is a literary heritage to be found in the
texts of medieval women spanning seven centuries.  This course will
introduce students to some of these women writers and to those gender
constructs that framed the representations of women.  Among the
writers we will read are Marie de France, Christine de Pizan, Margery
Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Joan of Arc, and Heloise. We will ask in
the spirit of Michel Foucault, "What is a medieval author?" Other
points of inquiry will be the engagement of women writers with
religious and cultural conflicts of their time and with the masculine
tradition of letters and authority within which they wrote.  Course
requirements will include a midterm and final and two papers.