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ENGL 514 E - Seminar in Medieval Literature - Canterbury Critters

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


Intensive study of selected texts, genres, themes, or theoretical issues in medieval British literature (usually focusing on either Old English or Middle English texts), or of scholarly methods in medieval studies (such as editing, paleography, or bibliography and methods of historical research). Course Information: Same as MDVL 514. May be repeated if topics vary. Prerequisite: A college course devoted entirely to an aspect of medieval studies or consent of instructor.

Special Instructions:

Geoffrey Chaucer-s Canterbury Tales entangle themselves in the more-than-human world: the stories the pilgrims tell one another on the road to Thomas Becket-s shrine feature philosophical lions, vainglorious roosters, and killer rocks. Indeed, in Chaucer-s Christian worldview, humans are themselves not entirely human, trapped as they are between heaven and earth, spirit and flesh, reason and instinct, nature and culture. They are simultaneously -creatures- (God-s handiwork) and -critters- (Donna Haraway's term for material beings caught up in the lifeweb). We-ll use these ecological insights as points of entry into Chaucer-s poetry, working our way through a sizable selection of the Tales over the course of the semester. We will also focus on a number of critical works from the intertwined fields of ecocriticism and the New Materialisms: Haraway's When Species Meet, obviously, but also Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter, Mel Chen's Animacies, and Michael Marder's Plant-T

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Graduate

Credit: 4

Term(s): Spring


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