Spring 2021 Undergraduate English Courses: Seminars

358:422 Seminar: Medieval Literature and Culture

01   09291  NOVACICH  MTH 9:50-11:10 AM

This course explores the relationship between travel and writing, and thus covers a number of works that feature travel in some form, including romance adventures, religious pilgrimages, and descriptions of far-flung exploration. Our primary texts include a number of works loosely identified as belonging to this general category of ‘travel literature’ (though we can debate both the accuracy and utility of that category): Mandeville’s Travels, the Travels of Ibn Battuta, the Book of Margery Kempe, and Dante’s Inferno. We will investigate the ways in which writers negotiate shifting boundaries between “here” and “there,” center and periphery, familiar and strange, and new and old, and form opinions and arguments about the relationship among travel, the self, knowledge, and creativity. The course asks you to identify and pursue research interests by engaging with these primary texts and becoming familiar with the critical questions surrounding them. Requirements include a research paper and several short writing assignments throughout the semester.