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Medieval Performances

ENGL 524.301
instructor(s):
Thursday 3-6:00

Medieval literature is in many ways a literature of performance, drawing from a number of cultural practices and discourses, such as sacramentality, liturgy, confession, miracle, inquisition and pilgrimage. In this course, we will read representational essays from modern drama criticism and linguistic and cultural theory alongside a wide variety of medieval texts written and performed in England between 1200 and 1550. Texts will include pageants from the Corpus Christi cycle plays; miracle plays such as the Croxton Play of the Sacrament; saints plays such as the Digby Mary Magdalene; selections from penitential and preaching handbooks; miracle and conversion tales, lyric poetry, and trial records. Students working in other languages and periods are strongly encouraged to join the course, and I am happy to add comparative texts to the syllabus wherever possible. Participants will be asked to prepare two class presentations, a review of criticism, and a final paper (10-12 pages).