Lizabeth J Johnson
Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.
THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND IN HISTORY
Since the early middle ages, stories of King Arthur, his wife, and his companions have been told and retold in many eras, places, and languages. These stories have become so well known and well loved that the successes and tragedies of Arthur, Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table are still fodder for novels and movies today. This class will examine the portrayal of Arthur and other popular characters from the Arthurian cycle in sources dating from the 6th to the 21st centuries, with the intent of determining what these characters and their stories meant in different times and to different audiences. In particular, the focus of the class will be on how each new generation interpreted the Arthurian tales with regard to their own social and political realities and why the Arthurian legend has remained so popular for so long. The course will also operate as an introduction to historical thinking and writing, with particular attention paid to critical analysis of historical sources both in discussion and in writing assignments.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading