ENG 311 / MED 309

The Medieval Period: Arthurian Literature and the Critique of Empire

D. Vance Smith

Back to "Spring 2021" courses

King Arthur: the most dazzling and problematic figure of the Middle Ages. There is the strange mix of mysticism and a fascination with power, the idealism and betrayal, the narcissism and spectacle. Arthur is a problematic figure already in his own stories. But he is problematic in ways that are less obvious. Writers found in him an anticipation of later critiques of empire–the sexism, racism, and economic oppression that modern works place in the foreground (“I didn’t vote for you,” says a peasant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail) We will read the important works of the Arthurian canon as well as watch a film and TV version or two.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

<< Art and Power in the Middle AgesBeowulf >>
Humanities Council Logo
Italian Studies Logo
American Studies Logo
Humanistic Studies Logo
Ancient World Logo
Canadian Studies Logo
ESC Logo
Journalism Logo
Linguistics Logo
Medieval Studies Logo
Renaissance Logo
Film Studies Logo