E 379S • Fiction and Medievalism
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
As part of our University-directed self-assessment project, the English Department has initiated an ePortfolio program for English majors. You will be asked to submit, in electronic form, two documents--a one page essay on the English major and a copy of your final paper for the seminar. Additionally, you will be asked to complete a brief four question survey. During the semester, you will receive details from your instructor or from the English Department on completing the survey and submitting the documents on your senior seminar's Blackboard website.
Umberto Eco has said that every generation produces its own version of the Middle Ages. By examining selected works of fiction (and some literary criticism, poetry, visual arts, and film), this course will explore how the category of 'the medieval' has been constructed (and its imagery activated) in post-medieval settings from the eighteenth century onwards. Special attention will be paid to Victorian England and the twentieth century.
Grading will be determined by performance on two short essays (4-5 pp. each) and 1major seminar paper (8-10+ pp; significant research and revision of draft versions required, as per SWC guidelines) as well as by in-class performance, preparation, discussion, engagement, attendance, reading checks, and peer feedback. Each absence beginning with #4 will reduce in-class portion of grade; no passing grade is possible with 9+ absences. Papers approx. 80%; in-class performance approx. 20%.
William Morris, The Wood Beyond the World
Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
Clara Reeves, The Old English Baron
OR Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Matthew Lewis, The Monk
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Italo Calvino, The Non-Existent Knight
Barry Unsworth, Morality Play
Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land
Norman Cantor, Inventing the Middle Ages
Mark Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing about Film