Spring Semester 2010

English 580: Seminar in Medieval Literature: Love in the Western World.

Department of English, Washington State University

Professor Michael Hanly


Course Schedule: Tuesday-Thursday 9:10-10:25. Avery 110.
We will read texts from a number of different national traditions and genres with a view to assessing their role in the development of Western notions of love. These will include Ovid's Amores and Ars amatoria, St. Augustine's Confessions and De doctrina Christiana, the De amore of Capellanus, Chrétien de Troyes's Le chevalier de la charrette and the Lais of Marie de France, Aucassin et Nicolette, the Roman de la Rose, Boccaccio's Decameron X.10, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer's Parliament of Foules. We will consider both medieval and modern critical responses to the medieval texts and themes we encounter. Various in-progress written assignments are to be expected; we will do something desperate with oral reports.



1. Essential Research Sites


WSU Libraries Article Indexes and E-Journals --get authorization and password from WSU Libraries.

Griffin WSU Entire Library On-Line Catalogue.

Voice of the Shuttle An essential site for research in any humanistic field

The Labyrinth A huge collection of sites related to all fields of medieval studies.

French Middle Ages Literature Page A large and useful jumble of sites.

2. Medieval Culture and Themes

Medieval Women

Women Writers of the Middle Ages : compiled by Bonnie Duncan (Millersville University), the site offers basic info on various writers, bibliographies, texts, and links.

Medieval Feminist Index : a searchable online database dealing with all aspects of medieval feminist scholarship.

Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship : the society's homepage offers links to other med-fem websites, including one to their newsletter's annual bibliographies-very useful.

Medieval Sex and Sexuality : deals primarily with Boccaccio's Decameron, but offers broader socio-historical contextualizations as well.

Courtly Love

Backgrounds to Romance: Courtly Love

"Dark Age On-Line Sources" : ignore the misleading title: this site offers complete texts of many Arthurian and Early British texts, historical information, etc.--a gold mine. .

"The Arthurian A to Z Knowledge Bank" : another useful encyclopedic collection.

"The Camelot Project" (at the University of Rochester): describes itself (accurately) as "designed to make available in electronic format a database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information."

Arthurian Legend Home Page , assembled by Prof. Alan Baragona of VMI: a very useful collection of bibliographies, e-texts (including articles), and links to other good sites.

3. Medieval Authors and Texts

  • CAPELLANUS, De amore

    The Andreas Capellanus Link Page


    Les Troubadours is a excellent basic overview of Troubadour genres and poets; from an enlightened collège in Quèbec; in French.

    Occitan : useful brief explanation of the history of the various dialects of the langue d'oc; from "ProvenceWeb"; in French.

    Texts of Troubadour Lyrics : some with parallel English translations.


    "The Charrette Project" is described as "a complex, scholarly, multi-media electronic archive containing a medieval manuscript tradition--that of Chrétien de Troyes's Le Chevalier de la Charrette (Lancelot, ca. 1180) (Princeton University).

    Chrétien de Troyes: Arthurian Romances : English translations of Chrétien's romances, with brief footnotes.


    International Marie de France Society : presents explanatory essays on individual lais, information on manuscripts, some translations, bibliographies--the works. An extremely well-produced and useful site.

    Lais of Marie de France : modern English translations by Judith Shoaf, with some annotation.


    Studies in the Age of Chaucer Bibliography
    A colossal endeavor by Prof. Mark Allen of UTSA; this is one of the most useful tools available for the study of Chaucer, a searchable, annotated bibliography of every book and article written about Chaucer for the last several years. It will eventually go back about 25 years. The annotations are excellent and will give you a good idea whether or not you need to look at the work.

    This bibliography is now available on a website, "fully searchable and web-friendly" indeed.

    Chaucer Review: Annotated & Indexed Biblio
    "Annotated and Indexed Bibliography of the first 30 years of The Chaucer Review. From "Abraham" to "Zitter," scholars have published nearly 800 articles in the first 30 volumes of the premier Chaucer journal, and they are all listed and summarized here. The subject index is searchable using the Find function of your browser, and you can use the article numbers there to find the essays you want in the bibliography. For example, if you go to the index and search for "anti-Semitism," you will find eight entries, numbered 19, 139, 268, 279, 324, 377, 747, 798. In the bibliography, search for 268, and you will find Frank, Hardy Long. "Seeing the Prioress Whole." 25 (1991): 229-37 with a summary of his argument. The bibliography is a large file and takes a while to load, but it is a great resource." (thanks to Alan Baragona for this description).

    The Essential Chaucer (1900-1984)
    The site describes itself in this fashion: "The Essential Chaucer is a selective, annotated bibliography of Chaucer studies from 1900-1984. It was first published in 1987 by G. K. Hall and Mansell Publishers Limited. The bibliography is divided into almost 90 topics, including themes, techniques, and individual works by Chaucer."

    Chaucer Scriptorium
    is my main Chaucer site; includes links to other pages on medieval lit., etc.)

    The Chaucer MetaPage
    The central site for anything to do with Chaucer. Prof. Hanly is a participant in the MetaPage project.



    Dr. Deborah Schwartz's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Resources page
    An excellent resource; see also her "Backgrounds to Courtly Love" site

    The Cotton Nero A X Project
    Have a look: a fascinating project directed by the brilliant Murray McGillivray regarding the Gawain manuscript at the British Library (Cotton Nero A.x)


    1. Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), excerpts from Amores (The Loves)and Ars amatoria (The Art of Love).

  • Here are online versions of the Latin text of these poems; however, I have yet to find suitable English (or German) translations on the Web. You should, in any case, check out this astonishing German website on Ovid. It has many of the Heroides and other Ovidian texts in German translation.

    2. St. Augustine, De doctrina Christiana, selections from Book I

  • An essential text on Christian love; introduction to the concepts of "use" (uti) and "enjoyment" (frui). The Latin text of these excerpts is also provided.

    3. Links Related to Chaucer and Medieval Studies

  • my list of web resources relevant to a variety of medieval fields and topics.

    4. Medieval Themes and Topics

  • a list of useful definitions I assembled for students in medieval courses.



    Hanly's Home Page (includes links to other course websites, etc., and a rare photo of Hanly not in his office.)