The Literature of Medieval Europe (LA)

Subject associations
COM 310 / HUM 312 / MED 308
Fall 2023
Daniel Heller-Roazen
Registrar description

A seminar on magic speech, defined as performative language that does not so much describe reality as change it. Our subjects will range from spells and enchantments to blessings, curses, prayers and oaths. We will focus on medieval literature, philosophy, and theology; at the same time, we will discuss some contemporary perspectives on magic and speech acts in literary theory, philosophy, linguistics, and anthropology. Attention will be paid to the Arabic, Scholastic, and vernacular traditions of medieval Europe.