Whether you are an expert at Middle English or a fan of contemporary fantasy, this is the DeCal for you! The Medieval Humor DeCal strives not only to introduce students to the hilarious world of the medieval via a mixture of primary texts and modern media, but encourages students to engage humorously with the material.
Due to the Catholic Church’s political/cultural influence across Europe throughout the Middle Ages, we often associate the "medieval" with piety and innocence. However, the Middle Ages were also filled with political, dark, and dirty humor! Additionally, the medieval era has been the center of several 20th & 21st century genre spoofs, fantastic narratives, and memes. In this course, we will discuss the humor of medieval texts and make critical comparisons with their contemporary counterparts. The class will be composed of two six week long units:
Unit 1: Comedy in Medieval Literature
Unit 1 will focus on a series of primary sources either humorous in nature or heavily spoofed in a contemporary context, breaking the misconception that medieval literature is solely pious. [Some texts include: Maria Dahvana Headley's Beowulf: A New Translation; Dame Sirith; Marie de France's Lanval; Squire of Low Degree; and various tales of Robin Hood].
Unit 2: Pop Culture’s Attitude Towards the Medieval Era
Unit 2 will fixate on contemporary texts (including literature and film) and their criticism. In turn, we will examine whether these depictions are historically accurate in a literary context. [Some films and texts include: Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones' Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975); Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993); Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (1987); Puppets History's Life During The Black Death Pandemic; and excerpts from Memes in Digital Culture].
The Medieval Humor DeCal is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the world of the Medieval, while earning two units of upper division course credit! Assignments will be centered around creating a dialogue between humor of the past and the present, either through in-person discussion, argumentative writing, and student-made memes. In short, Medieval Humor provides a low-stress environment to learn about the literature and history of the Middle Ages.
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|Medieval Humor: Analyzing Comedy in Medieval Literature and Pop Culture’s Attitude Towards the Medieval Era||Amanda Styles||40||209 Dwinelle||[W] 6:30PM-8:00PM||09/08/2021||Full||--||0|