ENGL302 - Medieval Literature in Translation

This course reads some of the most well-known literature of the Middle Ages across a wide-range of times and places. From continental romances to early autobiography to Dante’s Inferno, we will explore the particular forms that medieval writers regularly used (the frame tale, the dream vision) and the particular themes to which they obsessively returned (the pursuit of love and honor, ecstasy, bodily transformation). The class will pay particular attention to the twelfth-century “invention of love” and its successive fortunes across the period. While the texts we read will be translations, the idea of translation is also engaged in its extended historical sense: how does the modern imagination translate medieval literary works? To answer this question, we will also look at modern adaptations in film, visual art, and other media.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.