Over the last several years I have led a number of study abroad courses to Europe, focusing on aspects of medieval literature and culture.These are all three-credit upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in English at Longwood University
2013 ENGL 431/531 King Arthur and the Culture of Chivalry
For centuries legends and stories of King Arthur and his famed Knights of the Round Table have captivated the Western literary imagination. Amid the hundreds of tales, fables, and epics there is a landscape of truth in the British countryside hidden in the castles, abbeys and mountains. This course offers an opportunity to read the original medieval texts about King Arthur, sifting fact from fantasy, myth and legend, while exploring the actual realms of the Arthurian world and the culture of chivalry and knighthood that was inspired by and had a hand in shaping the development of Arthurian legend. I will be lecturing on-site and we will be visiting numerous museums, exhibits and historical sites related to the Arthurian tradition and the medieval culture of chivalry that developed in the twelfth century. The tour begins in London and ends with three days in Paris before departure.
2011 ENGL 444/544 Literature of the Crusades
One of the most enduring images of the medieval period are the Crusades, a series of religious wars waged between 1095 and approximately 1291 AD, fought largely by the Franks and the Holy Roman Empire. These crusades left their mark on a vast array of medieval literature and culture. This study abroad course to Southern France will focus on medieval literature steeped in the culture of the Crusades from the 11th through the 14th centuries and the mythologies of the heretical sects and the Knights Templar. This course is designed to teach the literature of the Crusades in context: considering their history, language and culture, and exploring the evolution of the crusading ethos throughout the medieval period. This course is also designed to emphasize the close analysis of texts, including literary and historical sources written during the era of the Crusades.
2009 ENGL 444/544 Anglo-Saxon England
The foundation of literature in English is the Anglo-Saxon language in which numerous texts in prose and verse were written from approximately the 7th century until the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is the root of our modern spoken language, which emerged and developed through the Middle Ages as Middle English, and then evolved into the language we recognize today. This course is designed to teach Anglo-Saxon literature in the context of its history, language and culture, and explore the evolution of Anglo-Saxon literature and culture through the early Middle English period. This course is also designed to emphasize the close analysis of texts, including poetry, fiction and drama written during the Anglo-Saxon and early Middle English period.
2008 ENGL 444/544 Irish Literary Culture
Irish culture and the ways in which Irish culture has evolved through interaction with other nations through the centuries is the focal point of this course. We will also deal with the influence Irish culture has had on the development of American culture. This examination of Irish culture will involve an analysis of its various forms including literature, art, film, music and history. Historical discussion and background are instrumental in understanding Irish literature and will be a major component of this course. We will also attempt to dispel some of the myths that have grown up around Irish culture.
2007 ENGL 431/531 The Realms of King Arthur
For centuries legends and stories of King Arthur and his famed Knights of the Round Table have captivated the Western literary imagination. Amid the hundreds of tales, fables, and epics there is a landscape of truth in the British countryside hidden in the castles, abbeys and mountains. This course offers an opportunity to read the original medieval texts about King Arthur, sifting fact from fantasy, myth and legend, while exploring the actual realms of the Arthurian world. We will be lecturing on-site and visiting numerous museums and exhibits related to the Arthurian tradition. The tour begins in Paris, moving on to Brittany, thence across the channel to Cornwall, Wales and southern England, and ends with a full day in London before departure.