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Encounter : Envisioning Love in the Fifteenth Century

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

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

Période de validité: 2020 -> 2020

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

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


To introduce students to a group of medieval texts that theorise love.

To explore the ways in which medieval texts invent new ways of thinking about love via interaction with older traditions.


The Middle Ages enjoys a privileged position in long histories of love and, in English contexts, the fifteenth century has been afforded special attention. For C. S. Lewis, the period famously marked an important moment of change. Whereas the high Middle Ages had pitted private desires and public duties against each other in the great romances of Lancelot and Tristan, Lewis argued that a revalorization of marriage in the fifteenth century promised happier outcomes. Recent commentators have responded more skeptically; this course offers students an opportunity to enter the debate.

Our focus will fall on the genre of writing in English in which the new philosophy of love is most extensively developed: the love vision. Our readings will trace a growing frustration with traditional expressions of male desire that expresses itself in a new kind of poem trying to encompass women's wants, including the possibility of women's same-sex desire. This course will appeal to students whose interests include historical gender studies and the history of women's writing.


Students taking this course will write an an essay of 3,000 words, citing at least four articles or book chapters. Students are free to follow their own interests. Essays should be submitted as pdfs bearing their author's names to my email address (rory.critten@unil.ch) by the latest at 7.00am 7.6.21. Instructions on seminar essay writing and grading criteria are on Moodle.

Students may also sign up for extra assessments:

1) A faculty oral exam.
2) A faculty written exam.
3) A specialised essay.

Further details are on Moodle.


See Moodle.

Informations supplémentaires

First class: https://unil.zoom.us/j/92677550423

Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne - Suisse
Tél. +41 21 692 11 11
Canton de Vaud
Swiss University