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B6  5/30-7/7  CAC  04334  TTH 6:00-10:00pm  COLTRAIN  SC-204 

Never Fall Asleep in a Boat: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Medieval Romance

King Arthur and his knights are the most well-known of medieval romances, surfacing in popular media everywhere from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to upcoming blockbusters. But medieval romance is much more vast, complicated and deeply strange. Letters are stolen; boats take heroes to precisely where they need to go; faery queens set impossible conditions on their lovers.  This course will consider all of these things, as well as political and social identities, the importance of genealogy, representations of gender and hierarchies of authority, and the uses (narratively and otherwise) of magic. The class surveys many canonical medieval romances as well as those less well-known.Students will become more familiar with both the Middle Ages – including its religious frameworks and its languages – and with the genre of romance and a set of representative texts.

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