Students will have acquired thorough knowledge of medieval and early modern literature in relation to contemporary societies.|
Students will be able to investigate premodern literatures from a diachronic perspective.
This course is concerned with the ways in which the literatures of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period relate to their contemporary societies. We adopt a threefold approach:|
(Strand 1) Students investigate how medieval or early-modern society is represented in medieval and early modern texts. From this perspective we will, for example, look at the portrayal of members of the cultural elite, of city guilds, merchants and individual citizens in a variety of texts.
(Strand 2) The second perspective focuses on the ways in which literature functioned in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Students will study the various relations between authors and patrons, will look at performance traditions, and will analyse literary texts that were meant to contribute to societal debates, or which, also in broader cultural terms, may be interpreted as investments in the circulation of social energy.
(Strand 3) Medieval and Early Modern literatures will be studied from a diachronic perspective. Students will look at literary traditions and characteristics and will search for both continuities and ruptures in the development of literature in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period. On each occasion the question may be raised: Is it appropriate to distinguish between two distinct historical periods, or should we challenge their often divided academic status?