Medievalism - the adaptation and rewriting of medieval culture - began as soon as the Middle Ages ended. From Renaissance ballads about the "wanton" Wife of Bath to the 2001 film A Knight's Tale, medieval literature has proven a durable creative resource. In this class we will study the emergence of an "other" Middle Ages, one in which contemporary authors have found vibrant feminine and transgendered voices to inhabit, re-voice, and transform. We will read both medieval and modern texts, focusing on the emergence in recent years of feminist and queer adaptations of medieval works. What is it about medieval literature - not typically known for female empowerment or sexual freedom - that makes it so appealing to some authors wishing to experiment with gender, sexuality, and bodies and identities more generally? Medieval works may include Old English lyrics, Marie de France's Lais, the Roman de Silence, Julian of Norwich's Showings, and The Book of Margery Kempe. Contemporary works may include poetry by Anthony Vahni Capildeo, Lauren Groff's Matrix, Alex Myer's retelling of Silence, and Pattie McCarthy's sonnet cycle Wifthing. Satisfies the medieval historical requirement.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EL EM; EL TC; EL GML