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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Common Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult)

Postgraduate Course: Reading the Middle Ages (CLLC11131)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course address the conceptual and practical bases of medieval literary culture and then provide an overview of important genres and modes of writing flourishing through the period. Each seminar will focus on close engagement with an individual seminal text, through which significant issues for the writing, thinking and literary culture of the period will be addressed.
Course description Week 1: Writing, reading, and reception: medieval theories of authorship and writing, and the practices of reading and reception in a manuscript culture.
Week 2: Medieval manuscript culture: an introduction in EUL¿s Special Collections to the variety of medieval literary manuscripts, issues in interpretation and editing.
Week 3: Epic/chanson de geste
Week 4: Romance
Week 5: Fin¿ amor
Week 6: Spiritual allegory
Week 7: Philosophy
Week 8: Encylopedia/world view
Week 9: Transforming sources
Week 10: Religious drama and festivity
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two assignments, amounting to total of 4000 words. Bibliographic assignment (20%), Final assignment (80%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. acquire knowledge of a variety of key modes of literary writing from across the European middle ages
  2. recognise the wide influence of these traditions across linguistic boundaries
  3. learn how to bring their knowledge to bear in enhanced critical interpretation of other medieval literary texts
  4. be able to assess the implications of the practices of reading and writing in a manuscript culture
  5. recognise how literary genres both reflected and shaped cultural and intellectual traditions of thought
Reading List
Primary literary texts to be chosen from among:
Epic: Beowulf, Song of Roland, Nibelungenlied, Bruce, El Cid, Táin Bó Cúailnge
Romance: Tristan, Lancelot, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Knight¿s Tale
Spiritual allegory: Commedia Divina, Pearl
Fin¿ amor: Petrarch Rime sparse or Trionfi, Troubadour lyric, Roman de la Rose,
Troilus and Criseyde
Philosophy: Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy; Martianus Capella, De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii
Encylopedia/world view: Isidore, Etymologiae; Bestiaries
Transforming sources: eg Orpheus: Ovid, Boethius, Ovide Moralisé, Sir Orfeo, Orpheus and Euridices
Religious drama and festivity: York plays, Treatise on Miracles Playing

Secondary sources:
Coleman, Joyce. 1996. Public reading and the reading public in late medieval England and France, Cambridge studies in medieval literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dagenais, John. 1994. The ethics of reading in manuscript culture : glossing the Libro de buen amor. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Irvine, Martin. 1994. The making of textual culture : 'grammatica' and literary theory, 350-1100, Cambridge studies in medieval literature. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Minnis, A. J. 1984. Medieval theory of authorship scholastic literary attitudes in the Later Middle Ages. London: Scolar.
Minnis, Alastair J, and A Brian Scott, eds. 1988. Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism c.1100-c.1375: the Commentary Tradition. Oxford: Clarendon.
Reynolds, Suzanne. 1996. Medieval reading: grammar, rhetoric and the classical text. Cambridge University Press.
Wogan-Browne, Jocelyn, ed. 1999. The Idea of the Vernacular : an Anthology of Middle English Literary Theory, 1280-1520. Exeter: University of Exeter Press.

Plus one/two indicative critical texts for each text seminar
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Salter
Tel: (0131 6)50 3055
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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