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C LIT 360 A: Topics In Ancient And Medieval Literature

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:30pm - 2:50pm
SIG 227
Joint Sections: 
ENGL 320 A, CHID 498 B, GERMAN 390 A, LIT 298 C
Annegret Oehme

Syllabus Description:

Medieval Literature and Culture:

Adapting 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. 

English is the language of instruction and course readings.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course fulfills VLPA requirement.

UPDATED GERM 390A Arthur Syllabus.docx


Tue, February 7: Female Authorship & the Arthurian Court

Read: Marie de France, Lanval (Canvas)


Thu, February 9: The Funny Arthur 

Read: Daniel of the Blossoming Valley, Part 1 (Canvas)

Presentation & Submission: Arthurian character or object biography


Tue, February 14: The Funny Arthur cont. 

Read: Daniel of the Blossoming Valley, Part 2 (Canvas)

Peer Review and Self-Evaluation DUE


Thu, February 16: The Hebrew King

Read: King Arthur / Melekh Artus

Reading Comprehension Test


Tue, February 21: A Jewish Knight?

Read: Viduvilt


The Modern Arthur 

Thu, February 23: King Arthur in the USA

Read: Mark Twain: Connecticut Yankee, excerpts (Canvas)


Tue, February 28: King Arthur in a Speech Bubble

Read: Nwain (online)


Thu, March 2: How to Write a Knight’s Tale?

Special Guest: Terrana Cliff, creator of Nwain


Tue, March 7: Tribute or Parody? Monty Python & the Holy Grail

Watch: Monty Python & the Holy Grail

“Reading” Comprehension Test


Thu, March 9: Adaptation Presentation

Presentation & Submission: Arthurian Adaption

Peer Review and Self-Evaluation DUE


Catalog Description: 
Explores topics in literature and cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds across national and regional cultures, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems.
Department Requirements Met: 
Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:13pm