This course has concessions available

Literature, Art And Material Culture – The Historical Thread Part 2

The course will explore the literature, art, and material culture of Europe, with reference to ten key texts from the Medieval and Early Modern Worlds: Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People; The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Geoffrey of Monmouths History of the Kings of Britain; Gerald of Waless History and Topography of Ireland; Gregory of Tourss History of the Franks; The Song of Roland; Chretien de Troyess Arthurian Romances; Jean Froissarts Chronicles; Raphael Holinsheads Chronicles; and Shakespeares Henry IV, Part 1. It will focus on the influence that each of these texts had on those that followed; and on the complex and changing inter-relationships between literature, the visual and performing arts, and material culture in European culture and society.

Who is this course for

No prior knowledge is necessary, but a good understanding of English is essential.

We will be discussing the following books, some or all of which you may wish to buy and read in your own time:

B. Colgrave (trans) & Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Oxford World Classics.
Anon, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Red & Black Books.
S. Gaunt & K. Pratt (trans), The Song of Roland, Oxford World Classics.
L. Thorpe (trans) & Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, Penguin Classics.
J. O'Meara (trans) & Gerald of Wales, The History and Topography of Ireland, Penguin Classics.
G. Brereton (trans) & Jean Froissart, The History of the Franks, Penguin Classics.
C. Carroll (trans) & Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, Oxford World Classics.
W. Harrison (ed) & Raphael Holinshead, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
C. Edelman (ed) & William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, Penguin Shakespeare.

What does this course cover

We will begin by looking at the concept of 'historical' literature in global perspective; and at key issues of literary influence, and inter-relationships between different forms of cultural and creative expression. We will then examine each of the key texts on its own terms; in the context of the times and places in which they were produced; and in terms of their broader influence in the definition and transformation of national and European cultures. We will explore the invention, endurance, appropriation, and modification of tradition in response to changing social, aesthetic, and religious ideas; and the way in which Medieval and Early Modern traditions continue to develop and influence the Modern World.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

' Explain the concept of 'historical' literature, with reference to key texts in the Medieval and Early Modern traditions.
' Identify a range of influences of one text on another; and of specific literary works on other forms of cultural expression (painting, sculpture, material culture, music, drama).
' Contribute to a discussion on the historical, philosophical, and aesthetic ideas that underpin key literary works.
' Define key ideas in literary criticism and art history.
' Use the knowledge gained on the course to identify aspects of Medieval and Early Modern thought that continue to influence the cultural life of the Modern World.

What will it be like

Each week there will be an informative talk using PowerPoint; readings from the key texts and related works; and group discussion of issues arising from those texts. You will be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally homework reading will be provided. Although this is not an accredited course leading to a formal qualification, you will be encouraged to complete a self-assessment form in which you can monitor your progress

What else do you need to buy or do

All the material for the course will be available via the Moodle page for the course. You are advised to bring along note taking materials to each session of the class

What this course could lead to

The next course in this series is the Histrical Thread in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. You may also consider other courses in Hisotry, Literature, Philosophy or other Humanities and Social Sciences run by the centre.

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This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

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