Fall 2010

HUMS 644
Days and Knights of the Round Table: The Arthurian Legend in the Middle Ages


10/02/2010 - 10/11/2010
Note: Special Schedule 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Allbritton Center 004

Special Weekend Immersion Schedule: Class will meet March 2, 9, 10, 23, and 24

This course will study the evolution of the Arthurian legend from its origins in 6th-century Britain to its fullest development in the 13th-century French Lancelot-Grail cycle. We will look at the way the various developments of the legend were rooted in specific historical circumstances and yet contributed to the elaboration of a rich and complex narrative that has been appropriated in different ways by each succeeding period of western European culture.

Students will have the opportunity to view select pieces from the Nathan Comfort Starr Collection of Arthuriana-- one of the three most important collections of Arthuriana in the United States -- which has just recently been fully cataloged. (Click here and here for more information about the Starr Collection).

Sources to be studied include Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain; Chretien de Troyes, Erec and Enide, The Knight with the Lion, The Knight of the Cart, The Story of the Grail; The Quest for the Grail; The Death of Arthur; and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Students will be graded on class participation, frequent short papers, or a single seminar paper.

This course is not open to auditors.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, September 17 at 5:00 pm.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
HUMS 644

Jeff Rider (B.A. Yale University; Diplome d'Etudes Medievales, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium; M.A., Ph.D. University of Chicago) is professor of romance languages and literatures and chair of the Medieval Studies Program. He is a specialist in the history and literature of northern Europe from the 11th through the 13th centuries. His work has focused on the Arthurian legend and the history of northern France in the twelfth century. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the American Philosophical Society, and the Rotary Foundation. He is currently at work on a variety of projects including a book on Chretien de Troyes, an edition of a thirteenth-century French narrative poem, and a translation of a twelfth-century journal describing the assassination of the count of Flanders in 1127. Click here for more information about Jeff Rider and here for more information about his work.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Wilhelm, James, ed. The Romance of Arthur. (Abbreviated RA.)

Chretien de Troyes. The Complete Romances of Chretien de Troyes. Trans. David Staines.

The Death of King Arthur. Trans. J. Cable.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Trans. J. R. R. Tolkien.


Register for Courses

Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459