Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Medieval Literature Course to be Offered Summer 2015

Submitted by Stephanie N. Welch on

New Course Offering for Summer 2015!

Affiliate Assistant Professor Britta Simon will offer an exciting new course this summer: Medieval Literature and Culture: The Age of Cathedrals

GERMAN 298A/ CHID 270B/ C LIT 251A/ ENGL 210B
Summer Qtr, a-term
MWF 12:30-2:20, CMU 226
Instructor: Dr. Britta Simon
All readings are in English. No prior knowledge of modern German or medieval European history and literature is required. Great introductory course!

What are the origins of King Arthur and the Holy Grail and why are modern audiences still fascinated by stories about guilt, love, and redemption? Why did medieval audiences consider plagiarism a sign of erudition? How does a blueprint of a church represent the earth? Why do we blush in the presence of the person we fall in love with? This course will examine medieval sources to help answer these and other interesting questions. It provides an introduction to the European Middle Ages, focusing on the time from 500 to 1300 CE. We will listen to medieval music, examine Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and explore how the Middle Ages created new forms of literature, music, and the arts.  And we will read Wolfram of Eschenbach’s Parzival, the famous medieval courtly epic featuring knights from King Arthur’s court and the quest for the Holy Grail.  The course will help you understand the relationship between medieval and modern concepts and ideas and modern popular culture’s take on the Middle Ages as depicted in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” and Terry Gilliam’s movie “The Fisher King”.

Assumption of the Virgin, by Botticini