Comparative Literature | Medieval Narrative
C417 | 28186 | R. McGerr


3 cr
Meets MW 1:00 - 2:15 pm
Fulfills A&H and CS Distribution Credit
Class Meets with MEST-M490

Literature can provide a tool for direct or indirect Othering, but
literature can also serve as a forum for raising questions about the
assumptions underlying constructions of Otherness. While some
medieval European literature serves to support the power of white,
male, Christian members of the nobility by demonizing people who do
not fit these categories, many medieval narratives offer alternative
perspectives on the "Other."  This course gives students an
opportunity to explore definitions of the Other in narratives from
different times and places in medieval Europe, from the 11th through
the 15th centuries.  In each case, we will look at how the text
constructs Otherness or questions such constructions -- and what
implications result for construction of the Self.
Readings will include The Song of Roland, The Song of the Cid, Yvain
by Chretien de Troyes, The Lais by Marie de France, Parzival by
Wolfram von Eschenbach, The Romance of Silence by Heldris of
Cornwall, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight by the Pearl-Poet, and The City of Ladies by Christine
de Pizan.

Students will complete a short response paper (1-2 pages), an hour
test, an analytical essay (6-8 pages), and a final exam.