Medieval Literature and Culture: Adopting Arthur: Retelling the story of the Once and Future King
The Arthurian stories appeared in the Middle Ages and have not ceased to fascinate audiences up to date. Mark Twain tells the stories of King Arthur and his noble knights to condemn slavery, Winston Churchill to evoke the British fighting spirit during World War II, and the 12th century clergyman Geoffrey of Monmouth to legitimize the rule of his patrons. This class offers a survey of this important narrative tradition, including the medieval manuscripts, Monty Python, and a comic about a transgender knight. Students will deal with medieval, modern, and contemporary material and in the process will learn how to access pre-modern narratives. The Arthurian material serves as a case study to discuss the human need to retell stories in order to make sense of reality. We will explore this rich medieval tradition by examining German, English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and French narratives in a variety of media. As we will explore various materials from medieval manuscripts to blogs, students will gain a better understanding of the importance of materiality in regard to storytelling and experiment with these forms by themselves. Over the course of the quarter, students will create an e-portfolio that includes their reading blog posts and a creative review.
There are no prerequisites for this course.