English 196: Capstone Getting Medieval (Spring 2022)

Course schedule MWF 11:45-12:50 with Prof. Lisa Manter

This course satisfies the second part of the Core’s Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement.  In addition to satisfying the WID requirement, the course can also satisfy the pre-1800 requirement and Foundation requirements for English Majors.


Focus: Middle English Literature, Medievalist Films & Questions of Time/Space

Most people look at Medieval Studies as the purview of stogy, tweed-wearing, pipe-smoking scholars.  Well, I’m here to tell you, there’s something else. In addition to being theory-friendly (e.g. new historicism, queer theory, nostalgia studies, etc.), medieval texts and medievalist films bring up difficult questions of how we deal with the history, how we understand time and space, and our enduring obsession with all things medieval.

We’ll start by getting the lay of the land, looking at the history of medieval studies itself as well as examining where it stands today. Then you’ll have a chance to choose one of the primary texts below as the focus of your research for the remainder of the term.  During the latter part of the term, you will create a research proposal, write a review of the literature, draft a 15-20-page research essay, and workshop your essay with a peer-group.  

 Primary texts to choose from:

Written works:

Anonymous, Gawain and the Green Knight

Chaucer, Geoffrey, The Canterbury Tales (selections)

______ “The Book of the Duchess” or “The House of Fame”

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

Kempe, Margery, The Book of Margery Kempe

Malory, Thomas, The Morte Darthur (selections)

Marie de France, The Lais of Marie de France


        Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Seventh Seal, Camelot, A Knight’s Tale



Films (though the list is open to revision)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Seventh Seal, Excalibur, Camelot, A Knight’s Tale, Vision, Anchoress, Sorceress, Beatrice


Required Texts: 

Dinshaw, Carolyn.  How Soon Is Now? Medieval Texts, Amateur Readers, and the Queerness of Time. Duke UP, 2021.

Hubbuch, Susan M. Writing Research Papers Across the Curriculum. 5th ed. Thompson, 2004. 


Instructor: Prof. Lisa Manter,    MWF 11:45-12:50


Pre-requisite: English 29; students are expected to be seniors in the English major


I'm currently sitting in my first Masters class (MAIT at KSOE), and we are going over program requirements and the components of the capstone project. I just want to say that your Medieval Lit class has prepared me for the Masters program more than any other class! . . . All of the time we spent in your class on research approaches and how to manage long term projects has allowed me to enter this class with a ridiculous amount of confidence. – Kim Shotiveyaratana, English Major class of ‘18