Fall 2017

Fictions and Fantasies of the Middle Ages

Listed in: English, as ENGL-334


Jenny Adams (Section 01)


[before 1800]  What is medieval?  Most people learn very little about the foggy period from 500-1500 that lies between the end of the Classical era and the start of the Renaissance.  What we do learn usually consists of stereotypes.  Such stereotypes include (in no particular order):  jousting, chivalry, repression of women, religious fervor, medical ignorance, lice, Crusades, King Arthur, economic injustice, knights, ladies, and plague.  How are these stereotypes produced and reinforced online?  What is their relationship to historical “fact”?  In each module we will take up texts, objects, and concepts that have constructed and reconstructed our ideas about the Middle Ages in order to learn about the ways objects and texts contribute to alternate (and often competing) views of the past.

The course is divided into three different (yet intersecting) modules:  Maps, Buildings, and Lives.  I have invited some guest speakers who conduct research in different fields to come to our class and push our conversations in interdisciplinary directions.  As we explore these areas, I would like us to think of the ways our materials disrupt and/or confirm popular views of the past.

Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Adams.



Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017