I would love to see this forum become a community of scholars and teachers. If you have any wonderful or terrible–or somewhere in between but could be wonderful with just a little bit of help–experiences in Arthurian literature classes, share them here.
Last semester, I turned my final exam in to a final Arthurian experience. The students did not know what to expect (though my hints throughout the semester led several to believe that we were going on a quest). I put them into groups, gave them a video camera, and charged them with making a short (modern) Arthurian film somewhere on campus. In an hour. The results were amazing, well beyond my expectations, but left room for improvement (on my end, not theirs!) If anyone has done anything similar, I’d love to hear about how it worked.
In addition, as you may know, the MLA maintains a repository for syllabus, articles, and other documents (it’s called CORE). It would be wonderful if this could be a place that those of us who teach the Arthurian legend can go to for inspiration, etc. Do consider depositing a syllabus or other teaching material from an Arthurian class.
Molly, What an amazing activity. We have a lot of aspiring screenwriters at ONU, and they would love the course.
I’m thinking of teaching a course that combines reading Arthurian literature and creative writing. So–we read some of the major medieval and modern treatments, and then let the students design their own. That’s my ambitious plan, anyway, if I can find a creative writing faculty member willing to cooperate.
Thanks for the idea. How did they do?
There were some great videos, quests for the holy grail of coffee during finals week, some Lancelot getting busted texting Guinevere, one Meleagant on trial, etc. I continue to tweak how I explain the goals of the assignment for the students, and am hoping to see results in May.
I love that you have students doing a creative assignment. I look forward to hearing more. In a past course, I offered that as an option for the final assignment (in part because my class was cross-listed for graduate students, many of whom were in my (former) school’s MFA program. They paired their own version with a short essay explaining how it fit into the tradition we had been reading. One student’s screenplay of Lancelot and the Fair Maiden was incredible (it included a really dopey Lancelot). It still influences how I teach that episode to students.
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