Medieval Imagination

MoWe 4:30PM - 5:45PM / 206 Cathedral of Learning / CRN 30597

This course ranges across 800 years of literary and cultural history, from a lyric inscribed in stone on an English cross to dramas Shakespeare might have seen as a child. The scope befits the topic: medieval imaginations ranged across the universe of knowledge, sacred and profane, reaching back to classical antiquity for roots and forward into the very institutions, ideas, and habits that make us modern. While the course covers a good deal of what we consider “literature” today —including lyric poems, chivalric romances, drama, and selections from The Canterbury Tales and Piers Plowman—it also views those texts in the wider frame of the liberal arts, approaching them as many readers approached them in their time: as practical, relevant meditations on big questions such as how to be happy, how communities flourish, how to deal with evil, how to love and be in love.

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Ryan McDermott

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Course Category

Category B: Disciplines and Intellectual Movements

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