This page focuses on the course 21L.460 Medieval Literature: Legends of Arthur as it was taught by associate professor Arthur Bahr in Fall 2013.
The course focuses on the legends of King Arthur in Medieval literature. The course follows the evolution of his legend, and legends of his principal knights, in their many reinventions and rewritings.
Course Goals for Students
There were three goals:
- written argumentation
- literary analysis and appreciation
- comfort speaking in front of others
On the following pages, Professor Bahr describes various aspects of how he taught 21L.460 Medieval Literature: Legends of Arthur.
- Setting the stage for Arthurian literature with a key question
- Encouraging participation during discussion
- Final project and posters: Alternative assessment strategies
One previous course in literature
Usually every other semester
The students’ grades were based on the following activities:
- 25% Critical/close reading paper
- 50% Final project and poster session
- 25% Class participation
Breakdown by Year
This course is primarily taken by undergraduate students.
Typical Student Background
Most students enter the class with some background knowledge about the legend of King Arthur. The course offers them an opportunity to juxtapose their conceptions of the literary figure with the historical Arthur.
How Student Time Was Spent
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Met 1 time per week for 3 hours for a total of 12 sessions; mandatory attendance
- Small groups of students (4-5 per group) identified topics or passages that merited further discussion
- Topics, passages or questions were outlined on the chalkboard
- Class discussion followed
- Last session was a poster session with guests invited
Out of Class
- Completed readings
- Completed critical/close reading paper
- Completed proposal of three possible final projects
- Met in person with Prof. Bahr about final project at least once
- Completed final project