ENG620 201801 Graduate

Term: 
Fall 2018
Course: 
ENG 620
Applies To: 
Graduate
Sections: 
Title: 
Medieval Literature: Medieval Rumor and Scandal
Instructors: 

Martha Bayless

Martha Bayless profile picture
  • Title: Professor, English
  • Additional Title: Director, Folklore and Public Culture
  • Phone: 541-346-3930
  • Office: 344 PLC
  • Office Hours: Spring term: TUES/THUR 2:30-4:00
Department Section Description: 

This class will look at the cultural and literary significance of tales normally overlooked by modern scholarship: the legends, rumors, and scandals of medieval England and Wales.  These informal stories are the medieval equivalents of internet memes and conspiracy theories, TV tabloid journalism, and "fake news."  We will examine their relation to cultural anxieties, “effort after meaning,” and the love of sensation. Primary texts include odd tales harbored in chronicles and medieval biography, as well as stories of adventure and the supernatural, against the backdrop of more canonical works.  Secondary literature will include scholarship on folklore, oral tradition, the sociology of rumor, and the neuroscience of memory.