By way of numerous Power Point "tours" of on and off campus sites and materials, as well as our reading of a popular American novel, Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, this course will consider the influence of medieval culture and ideas on New Orleans and, to some extent, Southern culture in general, especially during the post-Civil War period and Reconstruction. For instance, we will discuss medieval architectural styles preserved in Tulane and other local buildings (Richardsonian Romanesque and Gothic Revival), experience medieval music by New Orleans' Musica da Camera (a special guest performance), and explore real medieval manuscript materials from the Tulane Rare Books Room in Jones Hall. We will also talk about medieval influences on such pre-Lenten festivals as Mardi Gras and on such regional foods as gumbo and turducken. Class will conclude with our viewing of a musical film version of Connecticut Yankee, which suggests how Hollywood adapted medieval experience to bring it in line with certain nineteenth-century attitudes toward the Middle Ages.
Three written assignments: a midterm (essay format), short critical paper (5 typed pp.), and a final examination (on course terminology).
Required Text: Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ed. byMLAR Justin Kaplan (New York: Penguin, 1972).