English 494-1006 [80203] (Religion 494-1007 [86957]) - Special Topics:

The World of King Arthur

Professor Richard Newhauser

Fall Semester, 2008; TTh 3:00 - 4:15 p.m., LL 45

Office: LL 226B; Telephone: 480-965-8139;
E-mail: [email protected], Web site: http://www.public.asu.edu/~rnewhaus/

Office Hours: TTh 1:30 -3:00 p.m., and by appointment

 

Description:
The stories concerned with King Arthur and his knights have retained their fascination in western culture for over seven centuries. This course will address itself to the early formation of Arthurian narratives, their genres, and their sub-textual motives: from the treatment of Arthur as a Celtic hero in the Welsh Mabinogion to the pseudo-historical presentation of him as royalty in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, from Arthur's use in the articulation of the chivalric code in Chrétien de Troyes' romances and the religious reconstitution of the Arthurian myth in The Quest for the Holy Grail to the use of Arthurian material as a vehicle of literary and social criticism (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and of bourgeois self-fashioning (Malory's Le Morte Darthur).

 

Required Texts:

The Mabinogion, trans. Jeffrey Gantz (1976). Viking Penguin, ISBN-13: 9780140443226, Penguin Classics

The Quest of the Holy Grail,
trans. P.M. Matarasso (1969). Viking Penguin, ISBN-13: 9780140442205, Penguin Classics

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,
trans. Brian Stone (1959). Viking Penguin, ISBN-13: 9780140440928, Penguin Classics

Béroul, The Romance of Tristan, trans. Alan S. Fredrick (1978). Viking Penguin, ISBN-13: 9780140442304, Penguin Classics

Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, trans. William W. Kibler and Carleton W. Carroll (1991). Viking Penguin, ISBN-13: 9780140445213, Penguin Classics

Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, trans. Michael A. Faletra (2008). Broadview Editions, ISBN-10: 1-55111-639-1

Sir Thomas Malory, Works, ed. Eugene Vinaver, 2nd ed. (1971). Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0-19-281217-3

Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival, trans. A.T. Hatto (1980). Viking Penguin, ISBN-13: 9780140443615, Penguin Classics

Pearsall, Derek. Arthurian Romance: A Short Introduction. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2003. ISBN-13: 9780631233206


Requirements:
Students will be responsible for the content not only of the reading assignments, but also of our discussions in class. Regular attendance and participation in the discussions of all texts (not just the text[s] that you are researching for the semester) are prerequisites for passing the course. The door to the classroom will remain open for five minutes after the scheduled time for the class to begin; after that point the door will be closed. If you are late and see that the door has been closed, you have already been marked absent for that day - do not come into the classroom. Two unexcused absences are permissible without any effect on your grade, but three unexcused absences or more will adversely affect the final grade for the course. You may also expect brief quizzes on all reading assignments. Do not use electronic equipment in the classroom to take notes. The final grades for the course will be composed of individual performance in six areas:

1) A Topic Description. All Topic Descriptions (1 page; typewritten; double-spaced; with 1-inch margins, and your name the top of the page; and carefully proofread) are due on September 9. The grade on the Topic Description will account for about 10 percent of your final grade. Two or three students may wish to work together on a series of oral presentations of related topics or literary texts and/or intellectual documents to be held at successive class meetings.

2) An oral presentation (ca. 15 minutes) representing the fruits of your initial research on a topic which will either be assigned to you or which you will choose yourself after consultation with me. You must meet with me during my office hours (or make an appointment) to discuss your topic. The presentation should be open-ended and should encourage questions from the rest of the class. The grade on the presentation will account for about 15 percent of the final grade.

3) A brief critical book report (2-3 pages; typed or printed in no larger than size 12 font; double-spaced; with 1-inch margins, page numbers, and your name on every page; and carefully proofread) of one or two major studies of the topic or text on which your paper and presentation are based, due on the date of the oral report. The grade on the critical book report will account for about 10 percent of the final grade.

4) Quizzes on each work to be read for the semester. The average of all the quizzes will account for about 15 percent of the final grade.

5) A short paper (5-10 pages; typed or printed in no larger than size 12 font; double-spaced; with 1-inch margins, page numbers, and your name on every page; and carefully proofread) to be handed in one week before the oral presentation. The paper will include an annotated bibliography of 3-5 items which you will have read in preparation for giving the report and writing the paper (for all questions of documentation and references, follow the guidelines available at: http://www.public.asu.edu/~dedalus/guidetostyle/index.html). The short paper for all reports to be held after October 16 will be due on October 14. The short paper will serve as the basis for your term paper. The grade on the short paper will account for about 15 percent of the final grade.

6) A term paper (15-20 pages; typed or printed in no larger than size 12 font; double-spaced; with 1-inch margins, page numbers, and your name on every page; and carefully proofread) in which all of your research on the topic, and all of your own brilliance, are formulated carefully and in the scope which the subject demands. Term papers must be turned in to me - together with the copy of the short paper you handed in to me and which I returned to you with my comments - at the latest on the last day of class. I will not be able to complete your grade for the course (you will receive an Incomplete) unless I receive both papers at the end of the semester. The grade on the term paper will account for about 35 percent of the final grade.

 

Syllabus
Fall Semester, 2008

1. (8/26): Introduction: The Historical Arthur
2. (8/28): Introduction: The Historical Arthur; Pearsall, pp. 1-6; from Gildas and Pseudo-Nennius (in Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History, Appendix A, pp. 218-38)

3. (9/2): The Arthur of Celtic Myth: from the Mabinogi: How Culhwch Won Olwen ________________________, ________________________
4. (9/4): The Arthur of Celtic Myth: from the Mabinogi: How Culhwch Won Olwen ________________________, ________________________

5. (9/9): The Arthur of Chronicle: from Malory, Works: "The Tale of the Noble King Arthur that was Emperor Himself through Dignity of his Hands"; Pearsall, pp. 83-89, 91-92 ________________________, ________________________; all Topic Descriptions due today
6. (9/11): The Arthur of Chronicle: from Malory, Works: "The Tale of the Noble King Arthur that was Emperor Himself through Dignity of his Hands" ________________________, ________________________

7. (9/16): The Arthur of "History:" from Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain; books 8-11 (pp. 143-204); Pearsall, pp. 6-13 ________________________, ________________________
8. (9/18): The Arthur of "History:" from Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, books 8-11 (pp. 143-204) ________________________, ________________________

9. (9/23): The Value System of Courtly Love: Béroul, The Romance of Tristan ________________________, ________________________
10. (9/25): The Value System of Courtly Love: Béroul, The Romance of Tristan ________________________, ________________________

11. (9/30): Rosh Hashanah: No class
12. (10/2): Arthurian Society in Romance I: The Value System of Chivalry: Chrétien de Troyes, Cligés; Pearsall, pp. 20-26, 31-32 ________________________, ________________________

13. (10/7): Arthurian Society in Romance I: The Value System of Chivalry: Chrétien de Troyes, Cligés ________________________, ________________________
14. (10/9): Yom Kippur: No class

15. (10/14): Arthurian Society in Romance II: The Hero as Knight and Lover: Chrétien de Troyes, Erec and Enid; Pearsall, pp. 30-31 ________________________, ________________________; all short papers to be held after October 16 are due today
16. (10/16): Arthurian Society in Romance II: The Hero as Knight and Lover: Chrétien de Troyes, Erec and Enid ________________________, ________________________

17. (10/21): Arthurian Society in Romance III: Chrétien de Troyes, The Knight of the Cart; Pearsall, pp. 26-29 ________________________, ________________________
18. (10/23): Arthurian Society in Romance III: Chrétien de Troyes, The Knight of the Cart ________________________, ________________________

19. (10/28): Religious Reconstitution: The Quest of the Holy Grail; Pearsall, pp. 43-48 ________________________, ________________________
20. (10/30): Religious Reconstitution: The Quest of the Holy Grail ________________________, ________________________

21. (11/4): Arthurian Additions: Fragmentation of the Hero, Secular and Religious Chivalry: Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival; Pearsall, pp. 50-59 ________________________, ________________________
22. (11/6): Arthurian Additions: Fragmentation of the Hero, Secular and Religious Chivalry: Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival ________________________, ________________________

(11/11): Veterans Day: No Class
23. (11/13): Arthurian Additions: Fragmentation of the Hero, Secular and Religious Chivalry: Wolfram von Eschenbach, Parzival ________________________, ________________________

24. (11/18): Camelot as Satire, Arthurian Romance as Erziehungsroman: Subjectivity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearsall, pp. 75-82 ________________________, ________________________
25. (11/20): Camelot as Satire, Arthurian Romance as Erziehungsroman: Subjectivity in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ________________________, ________________________

26. (11/25): Arthur Among the Gentry: from Malory, Works: "The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur"; Pearsall, pp. 96-109 ________________________, ________________________
(11/27-28): Thanksgiving: No Class

27. (12/2): Arthur Among the Gentry: from Malory, Works: "The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur" ________________________, ________________________
28. (12/4): Arthur Among the Gentry: from Malory, Works: "The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur" ________________________, ________________________

29. (12/9): Final Paper due today (with the copy of the short paper you handed in to me earlier in the semester)

 

 

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY!

In the "Student Academic Integrity Policy" manual, ASU defines "Plagiarism [as] using another's words, ideas, materials or work without properly acknowledging and documenting the source. Students are responsible for knowing the rules governing the use of another's work or materials and for acknowledging and documenting the source appropriately." You can find this definition at:
http://www.asu.edu/studentaffairs/studentlife/judicial/academic_integrity.htm#definitions

Academic dishonesty, including inappropriate collaboration, will not be tolerated. There are severe sanctions for cheating, plagiarizing, and any other form of dishonesty.

 

 

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