Course Details

ENGL 203: Other Worlds of Medieval English Literature

When medieval writers imagined worlds beyond their own, what did they see?  This course will examine depictions of the afterlife, the East, and magical realms of the imagination. We will read romances, saints' lives, and a masterpiece of pseudo-travel literature that influenced both Shakespeare and Columbus, alongside contemporary theories of postcolonialism, gender and race. We will visit the lands of the dead and the undead, and compare gruesome punishments and heavenly rewards. We will encounter dog-headed men, Amazons, cannibals, armies devoured by hippopotami, and roasted geese that fly onto waiting dinner tables. Be prepared. Readings in Middle English and in modern translations.
6 credits; LA, WR2; Offered Winter 2022; G. Shuffelton