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Medieval Performances

ENGL 715.401
crosslisted as: CLST 610, COML 714
instructor(s):
Tuesday 9-12:00pm

Medieval literature is in many ways a literature of performance, drawing from a number of cultural practices and discourses, such as sacramentality, liturgy, miracle and conversion, law, confession inquisition and pilgrimage. In this course, we will read essays from modern drama criticism and linguistic and cultural theory alongside a wide variety of texts written and performed 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, anti-theatrical literature and heresy 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 relevant. Participants will be asked to prepare two class presentations, a review of criticism, and a final paper (10-12 pages).