May 28, 2024  
2024-25 Catalog 
    
2024-25 Catalog
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LIT 308 - The Monstrous and the Human in Medieval and Early Modern France


In this course, we will read works of literature that figure monstrosity and animality in a variety of ways-from actual monsters or animals who threaten human social order to figurative monsters and animals who challenge the definition of humanness. We will ask how representations of monstrosity and animality serve to define humanity, especially during periods of social change. By way of theoretical readings on monstrosity, we will discuss how these representations establish a language of normativity, hierarchies of ability, and figures of danger at the same time as they can offer an escape from the limits of social strictures. Literary works will include Marie de France’s Lays, Chrétien de Troyes’ Yvain, the anonymous Farce of Maître Pathelin, Rabelais’ Gargantua, Montaigne’s Essays, Cyrano de Bergerac’s The Other World, select fairy tales by Madame d’Aulnoy and de Murat, and Racine’s Phèdre. All readings and discussion will be in English.

Unit(s): 1
Group Distribution Requirement(s): Distribution Group I
Instructional Method: Conference
Grading Mode: Letter grading (A-F)
Group Distribution Learning Outcome(s):
  • Understand how arguments can be made, visions presented, or feelings or ideas conveyed through language or other modes of expression (symbols, movement, images, sounds, etc.).
  • Analyze and interpret texts, whether literary or philosophical, in English or a foreign language, or works of the visual or performing arts.
  • Evaluate arguments made in or about texts (whether literary or philosophical, in English or a foreign language, or works of the visual or performing arts).



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