For this assignment, you will conduct research on one of two very important medieval institutions: the church or the royal court.
One of the reasons we read old books is to learn about what life was like in a different time. Knowing about history can illuminate the texts we read, and the texts we read can give us a new perspective on the past. The first part of this course focused on the medieval period, a time quite removed from our lives in 2022. This assignment aims to give you historical perspective, deepen your understanding of the assigned texts, and fulfill our state-mandated learning outcomes involving research and tracing the development of the English literary tradition. The premise of this assignment is that literature and history go hand-in-hand, are mutually reinforcing, and are fruitful sites for inquiry.
See tabs on this box for topics.
Image: Bestiary with Theological Texts. Circa 1200-1210. The British Library
IF YOU PICK A TOPIC RELATED TO THE CHURCH, PLEASE LOOK INTO THE MEDIEVAL BELIEFS AND PRACTICES, NOT THE STANCE OF THE CHURCH TODAY.
Image: Simak, Evelyn. Photograph of St. Julian's Church in Norwich. 2010. Geograph
FOCUS ON THE ROYAL COURT BETWEEN THE YEARS 1100-1500, NOT BEFORE OR AFTER.
Image: Lydgate, Jean. The Fall of Princes. Circa 1450-1460. The British Library
Once you’ve gained some insight into the topic of your choice, apply it to the literature. You may pick ONE OR TWO texts – not more, not fewer – and explain how the research you did either helps us understand the text better or explicate how the text helps us have a different/new perspective on your topic.
Image: Froissart, Jean. Chroniques. Circa 1470-72. The British Library