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Exploration : Not That Innocent : Medieval English Women Saints

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Rory Critten
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2017 -> 2017

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


Unlike other medieval genres, such as the romance, which typically focused on the experiences of men, saints' lives often put women on centre stage. While we might expect that writers used these texts to promote such traditionally female virtues as obedience and humility, the surviving texts could not paint a more different picture. Medieval English saints' lives show women actively shaping their own lives and, in particular, resisting male authority; their heroines destroy their dollies (Christina of Bolsena), withhold sex from their husbands (Cecilia), engage in impassioned scholarly debate with misogynist clerics (Katherine), and wrestle dragons (Margaret). This class invites students to consider a variety of women's saints lives told in medieval England; extracts from Latin and French texts will be read in modern English translation but the focus will fall on Middle English materials, which we will read in the original. This class will appeal to students whose interests cover (among other topics) women's history and the history of women's reading.


There are two stages in the evaluation of this class:

1) A midterm exam (week 7), 30%: students identify a passage from one of the set texts discussed in class and write a critical commentary on it. A list of extracts that might appear on the exam will be circulated beforehand.

2) A final exam (week 13 or 14), 70%: choosing one from two essay questions, students write an extended response to a prompt set by the instructor.

Informations supplémentaires


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Swiss University