Medievalism in Contemporary Culture

Subject 670-324 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first year English.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Stephanie Trigg

Subject Overview:

This subject interrogates the persistent popularity of medieval themes and stories in contemporary film, fiction, and children's literature. It will consider some medieval narratives which inspire a tradition of revisionary re-writing, as well as modern 'inventions' of the medieval in a range of cultural forms. Through a study of the major patterns in the re-invention of medieval literature, students will be encouraged to think about what these texts reveal about the relations of modernity and postmodernity with the medieval past, and the social and political meaning of the medieval in contemporary representations.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will be familiar with some of the major patterns in the re-invention of medieval narratives;
have an understanding of the appeal of the medieval for popular, children's and fantasy literature;
have an understanding of the social and political meaning of the medieval in contemporary fiction and film.

Students will have the choice of doing an essay of 1500 words 40% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of semester) or an essay of 4000 words 100% (due at the end of semester).

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • The Classic Fairy Tales: Texts, Criticism (Maria Tatar), Norton Critical Edition
  • The Lord of the Rings, Vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Rings (JRR Tolkien)
  • Le Morte Darthur (Thomas Malory), 2 volumes, Penguin
  • The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
  • A Tournament of Murders (Paul Doherty), St Martin's
  • Shrek, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, A Knight's Tale, Braveheart, Robin Hood (Films)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have the ability to develop critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;

  • have the ability to apply research skills (especially in library and on-line resources) and critical methods to an emerging field of inquiry;

  • have the ability to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in group discussions;

  • have achieved detailed readings of a range of texts in different media;

  • have the ability to think critically about the relations between academic and popular forms of knowledge of the past.#

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major

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