Spring 2022 Undergraduate English Courses

358:422 Seminar: The Middle Ages, Then and Now

01   MW4  2:00-3:20 PM  08266   SCANLON   MU-211

The Middle Ages, Then and Now

This course will examine the continuing presence of medieval literature in modern and contemporary literature and culture. It will focus on two major 14th century English poems, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and a wide variety of 20th and 21st century works which draw upon those two poems. Individual Chaucer tales will be paired with: Zadie Smith’s Wife of Willesden; Top Girls by the feminist English playwright Caryl Churchill; and two films, John Huston’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre (starring Humphrey Bogart) and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. The Canterbury collection as a whole will be paired with William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, and Last Orders by the contemporary English novelist Graham Hough, and Bailey’s Café by the African American novelist Gloria Naylor. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will be paired with The Buried Giant by the contemporary English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and David Lowery’s current film The Green Knight.