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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 71.01 Celtic Fringes: Medieval English Literature in Dialogue with Irish, Welsh, and Breton Traditions

From Arthur and Merlin to prophecy, poetry, and song, the literatures of medieval England drew heavily on the lively, imaginative, and sophisticated traditions of their Celtic neighbors, their musical styles and the particular aesthetic they brought to their poetry and narrative. In this course we will study some pairings of connected Celtic and English/Anglo-Norman texts, as well as contemporary writing about the Celtic connection. The politics of these exchanges are not easy. There were wars and border skirmishes; the Norman and Angevin kings of England sought to subdue the Celtic kingdoms and extend their political influence by diplomacy, coercion and conquest, creating a dynamic that is in some ways parallel to, but also interestingly different from a modern Colonial/Postcolonial situation. Readings may include early Arthurian material; Diarmaid and Grainne and the Anglo-French Tristan romances; Geoffrey of Monmouth's Life of Merlin and Merlinesque prophecies; the Welsh Mabinogi; lais by Marie de France and other writers; the borderland romance "Fulk Fitz Warren"; the anecdotes, satires and short romances of Walter Map; Gerald of Wales's ethnographic descriptions/ travelogues of Wales and Ireland. All non-English texts will be read in translation, although students with some knowledge of French, Latin, or a Celtic language may wish to explore some readings in the original. 

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Senior Seminar: Course Group I