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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Literatures on the British Isles: the Middle Ages - AAA130158
Title: Literatury na Britských ostrovech: období středověku
Guaranteed by: Department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures (21-UALK)
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2023
Semester: summer
Points: 0
E-Credits: 5
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:2/2, C+Ex [HT]
Capacity: unlimited / 30 (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
Key competences:  
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Additional information:
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
can be fulfilled in the future
Guarantor: Mgr. Helena Znojemská, Ph.D.
Mgr. Petra Johana Poncarová, Ph.D.
Mgr. Radvan Markus, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): Mgr. Radvan Markus, Ph.D.
Mgr. Petra Johana Poncarová, Ph.D.
Mgr. Helena Znojemská, Ph.D.
Pre-requisite : AAA130102, AAA130112
Files Comments Added by
download lecture-syllabus2024.pdf Mgr. Helena Znojemská, Ph.D.
download seminar-syllabus2024.pdf Mgr. Helena Znojemská, Ph.D.
Annotation -
Combining an overview of the development of the most important literary forms and genres of medieval English
literature with a series of miniature textual analyses, this survey course seeks to explore the literature as a product
of the medieval mind. We will focus on the central issues of medieval literature: 1. the status of a (literary) text in
Early and High Middle Ages; 2. the interaction of oral (native) and learned (Latinate) traditions; 3. the concept of
genre; the developments of and interactions between genres; 4. the European context of medieval English
literature. The lecture aims at presenting the literature as an an integral part of a larger historical and social context.
Separate sessions will be devoted to a basic outline of medieval Scottish and Irish literature.

1 Introduction;
Migration period mythologies: problems in Old English heroic poetry (H.Znojemská)
a) Germania and Romanitas; dating and record; literature in society
b) form: metre, alliteration, poetics – in relation to a)
2 After conversion (H.Znojemská)
a) historical background; Latin in England (Bede, Aldhelm, Alcuin)
b) religious epic: biblical, Latinate, vernacular impulses
3 "Portrait 1": Beowulf, Exodus (H.Znojemská)
4 generic overview – Old English poetry (H.Znojemská)
towards alternative voices? (elegies, „minor“ genres)
5 The literature of medieval Ireland (R. Markus)
6 Old English prose (H.Znojemská)
a) evolution
b) establishing a tradition: saints’ lives, histories
7 from Old English to Middle English: overview (H.Znojemská)
8 The literature of medieval Scotland (P. Poncarová) CONDUCTED ONLINE
9 Middle English lyrics (H.Znojemská)
a) continental background
b) English tradition
10 Courtly literature: romances and affiliated genres – French and English traditions (H.Znojemská)
"Portrait 2": Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (H.Znojemská)
11 City literature (H.Znojemská)
a) 12th century Renaissance
b) drama
c) “national” voice – 14th century
12 "Portrait 3": Chaucer (H.Znojemská)

The seminar, compulsory for single-subject students, is primarily designed as a companion and extension course
to the lecture. Working more closely with primary texts, it aims to provide a survey of basic issues and tensions
shaping the literature and our understanding of it.

Joint-subject students obtain a credit (zapocet) passing the test which follows the lecture.
Single subject students obtain a credit (zapocet) passing the test and fulfilling the requirements for the seminar:
active participation, one presentation, final essay of 1000 words. The final grade (zkouska) will be determined on
the basis of the aggregate performance in all the above, i.e. participation, presentation, test, essay. The relative
weight of individual components is:
essay:37%, test:33%, presentation:15%, participation:15%.
Essay subject to 1 rewriting, test subject to two re-sits.
Students must complete all the credit requirements BY THE END OF THE YEAR FOLLOWING THAT IN WHICH .
THEY REGISTERED FOR THE COURSE in keeping with the rules set for zkouska, with the allowance of an extra year as per the Dean's Decree No. 2/2024.
Last update: Znojemská Helena, Mgr., Ph.D. (04.02.2024)
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