Romancing the Medieval

Subject ENGL30046 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 A 1.5-hr lecture and a 1-hr tutorial per week plus occasional film screenings.
Total Time Commitment: 102
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points at second year in English or Theatre Studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 106-038 Medievalism in Contemporary Culture; 106-053 Chaucer and the Birth of the Author; 670-324 Medievalism in Contemporary Culture; 670-329 Chaucer and the Birth of the Author
Core Participation Requirements: N/A


Prof Stephanie Trigg


Stephanie Trigg

Subject Overview: This subject works along two fronts. It introduces some of the main genres of medieval literature (romance, fabliau, chivalric quest, and confessional narrative), with a special focus on the representation of love, sex and death in the Middle Ages, and on the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. It also examines the phenomenon of reviving or re-creating medieval culture in fiction, poetry and film, from the 16th century to the present, including works by Spenser, Tennyson and Tolkien, and the post-medieval traditions of fairy-tales. Extracts from Chaucer, and one or two other texts will be read in Middle English. Others will be read in modern translation.

Students who complete this subject will:

  • be familiar with some of the main genres of medieval literature;
  • have a reading knowledge of Chaucerian English;
  • have an understanding of the main trends in medievalism;
  • have some familiarity with the critical traditions of reading medieval and medievalist literature.

Assessment: One essay of 1500 words (40%), due mid-semester, and an essay of 2500 words (60%), due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader with extracts from other medieval and medievalist texts will be available.
  • Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (Norton Critical Editions)
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. William Vantuono (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press)
  • Malory, Le Morte D'Arthur: The Winchester Manuscript, ed. Helen Cooper (Oxford World&rsquo.s Classics)
  • Book of Margery Kempe, trans. Barry Windeatt (Penguin)
  • Maria Tatar, The Classic Fairy Tales: Texts, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Rings
Films may include:
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, (dir. Peter Jackson)
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:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • 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 a tradition and an emerging field of inquiry;
  • have improved their capacity to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in class discussions;
  • have developed skills in readings texts in different genres;
  • have the ability to think critically about the relations between academic and popular forms of knowledge about the past.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English Literary Studies Major

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