22 June 2015

The Charleston Shooting and Making Medieval Bodies

I've been thinking a lot about Charleston this week, and all the other recent shootings and cop-on-civilian violence. Trying to figure out how I can engage beyond ranting at friends and family.

I'd already been thinking about making my (MA-level) Middle English literature course about bodies -- normative bodies, "other" bodies -- and it occurs to me that I can push that in the direction of figuring out how we got to this place where we believe some bodies are more important than others.

Potential texts for the syllabus:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Canterbury Tales: General Prologue, Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, Miller's Tale, Prioress's Tale
Troilus and Criseyde?
The Second Shepherds' Play
Sir Orfeo
The Knight with the Lion
The Hereford Mappa Mundi
The Tale of Two Married Women and the Widow
The Book of Margery Kempe
Travels of Sir John Mandeville
Maybe one or two of Marie de France's Lais

selections from The King's Two Bodies
Karl Steel's essay on making the human
something by Carolyn Dinshaw
selections from Metzler's book on medieval disability
excerpts from Lisa Lampert-Weissig's book on medieval poco
Asa Mittman's essay, "Are the Monstrous Races Races?"
Gillian Rudd on Sir Gawain
An essay from Medieval Masculinities
Something on medieval anti-semitism

It's probably too much. Maybe I'll ask each of the students to choose two of the essays, and report on them for the rest of the class.

I'm open to suggestions. I'd love suggestions, in fact.