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French 411 A: Topics In The Middle Ages

Magical Beasts, Giants, and Wizards in French Medieval Literature

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
LOW 101
Denyse Delcourt

Syllabus Description:

Phoenix Rising - 12th century Bestiary of Oxford -  Oxford University.

Magical Beasts, Giants, and Wizards in French Medieval Literature

The class will focus on animals with extraordinary powers, werewolves, giants, and magicians in French medieval romances. These types of characters still play an important role in modern literature and film. The Chronicles of NarniaLord of the Ring, and Harry Potter  are part of a long literary tradition starting in the Middle Ages, in which a young hero is identified right from the start as being special, and sent on a quest fraught with danger often of supernatural origins. Together, we will try to understand why this type of stories persisted as a mode of expression across many historical periods, and why it still has relevance for 21st  century readers.

Class conducted in French.

Readings are mostly in French, with some exceptions.

Required texts: Available at UW Bookstore. Feel free to buy required books elsewhere, preferably the same edition.

Robert de Boron, Merlin. (Flammarion)

Chrétien de Troyes, Les Romans de la Table Ronde. (Gallimard/Folio)

Joseph Bédier, ed. Tristan et Iseut. (10/18)

Additional readings on Canvas.

Course work:

1. Respond to questions regarding readings that I will post in advance on Canvas. Be prepared to discuss your answers in class.

2. Write four response-papers on articles related to readings. Be prepared to discuss your response in class.

3. Do a short presentation (individual or group of two) on a topic that I will assign to you.

3. Write a research paper (min.1500 words) using 2 peer-reviewed secondary sources. The first draft of your essay will be peer-reviewed by another student.

4. Final exam.

All work is in French.

Calculating your grade:

Participation: 10%

Questions on canvas: 10%

Short presentation: 5%

4 response papers: 10% each

Essay: 20% 

Final exam: 15%


SYLLABUS (peut varier)

Semaine 1 :

27-29 mars – Introduction

Semaine 2 :

3-5 avril – Marie de France, Bisclavret 

 Semaine 3 :

10-12 avril –Tristan et Iseut  

1er compte-rendu

Semaine 4 :

17-19 avril – Tristan et Iseut 

 Semaine 5 :

24-26  avril – Marie de France, Guigemer

Robert de Boron, Merlin 

2e compte-rendu 

Semaine 6 :

1er-3 mai – Robert de Boron, Merlin 

Chrétien de Troyes, Erec et Enide OU Le chevalier à la charrette (extraits)

Semaine 7 :

8-10 mai – Yvain ou le Chevalier au Lion

3e compte-rendu

Semaine 8:

15-17 mai – Chrétien de Troyes, Perceval (extraits)

Semaine 9:

22-24 mai – TBA

4e compte-rendu

Semaine 10 :

29 mai - TBA

31 mai – Examen final

6 juin: Essai dû











Additional Details:

Prerequisite FRENCH 304, FRENCH 305 or FRENCH 306.
View course details in MyPlan: FRENCH 411



Catalog Description: 
Sixteenth-century literature with emphasis on poetry and the general artistic ambiance. Prerequisite: FRENCH 304, FRENCH 305 or FRENCH 306.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 10:00pm