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 love poetry, we will explore the forms that medieval writers regularly used (the lai, the confession, the love lyric) and the themes to which they obsessively returned (the pursuit of love and honor, ecstasy, bodily transformation). The class pays 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 past ideas about love and desire? How can medieval literature help us to understand better our own modern assumptions about what love is?


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