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Unit information: The Crusades and their Representation in French Literature of the Middle Ages in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name The Crusades and their Representation in French Literature of the Middle Ages
Unit code FREN30098
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Marianne Ailes
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of French
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

The Unit would be taught through an interdisciplinary study. We would examine early accounts of the calling of the first Crusade and study examples of both fictional and non-fictional French texts from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The narrative texts studied deal with crusading in the Holy Land and the nearer threat of Islamic Spain. The study of the depiction of the religious and/or racial Other in the texts would be complemented by a consideration of the Saracen in manuscript illuminations. A different aspect of the Western response to the Crusades is seen in lyric poetry which explores and presents the emotional impact of the Crusades. The propagandist value of some texts would be considered but students woould also be made aware of dissenting voices and different views of events. Set texts: La Chanson de Guillaume ed. P.E. Bennett (London, 2000); Robert de Clari, Conquête de Constantinople, ed. P.S. Noble (Société Rencesvals, 2007); a selection of lyric poems. Background reading: J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A History (2005).

Aims:

  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students' engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching details

Two seminar hours per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours).

Assessment Details

Two 3000-word essays (50%/50%)

Reading and References

  • La Chanson de Guillaume ed. P.E. Bennett (London, 2000);
  • Robert de Clari, Conquête de Constantinople, ed. P.S. Noble (Société Rencesvals, 2007);
  • a selection of lyric poems. Background reading: J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A History (2005).

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