Readings in Late Medieval Literature and Culture (Pre-1800)

L610 — Spring 2020

Karma Lochrie
Days and Times
9:30a - 10:45a TR (4 CR)
Course Description

TOPIC: Medieval Queerness

This course will examine multiple types of queerness in the Middle Ages, including gender and sexuality, but also queer temporalities, chastities and cloisters, and allegories.  Drawing on recent work in queer and transgender studies, this course will examine the multiple ways in which sexualities and genders signify in medieval texts. From Chaucer, to medieval romance, to saints’ lives, to mystical texts, we will be considering such things as the “erotics of enclosure,” queer werewolves, chaste female intimacies, and more. Among the texts we will be reading are Alan of Lille’s Plaint of Nature, Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowles, selections from the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s translation of the Romance of the Rose, Marie de France’s Lais, the French Roman de Silence (dual language edition), selected saints’ lives, excerpts from the Ancrene Wisse, and the Book of Margery Kempe. Our reading of queer theory and medievalist queer essays will track the different claims for queerness being made. By the end of the course, we will attempt to answer the question, “what is queer now?” 


Besides regular attendance and participation, requirements for the course will include in-class presentations, an edited translation of a Middle English passage, a few one-page papers, and a final conference paper.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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