* ENG 304
/ MED 305
- Spring 2011-2012
Medieval Travel Literature: Destinations to Die for
This course considers medieval English travel writing, examining the imaginative territories charted by explorers and pilgrims, armed and unarmed. Stances toward lands traveled to differ: anthropologist avant la letter; frankly exploitative merchant; and religious motivated by piety. We'll find too that the lands traveled from are reshaped by travelers' tales. "Place is the beginning of the generation of things," writes Roger Bacon, and so the whole round orbus terrae--sphere of the world--is formed, filled with wonders, and endlessly discussed by these early writers. With these fabulous works, a fantastic trip begins.
Sample reading list:
The Book of Margery Kempe
The Sege[sic] of Melayne
Selections from The Canterbury Tales
Sir John Mandeville,
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
Reading assignments will not exceed seventy-pages per week. Three papers will be assigned: two short critical papers (about five pages each) and one comparative paper (about ten pages). There will be a take-home, open-source, short essay exam. Informal responses of a paragraph or two on the week's reading must be turned in for ten of the twelve weeks of the term.
Take Home Final Exam - 30%
Papers - 40%
Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 10%
Prerequisites and Restrictions:
No prior knowledge of medieval literature is required, and suggestions for supplemental reading will be gladly supplied. All texts will be available both in their original languages and in modern English translation..
Distribution Requirement: British
Class number: 42654