This Course at MIT

Course Overview

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 Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

There were three goals:

  1. written argumentation
  2. literary analysis and appreciation
  3. comfort speaking in front of others

Learn more.

 

Instructor Insights

In any class, as in life, you have some extroverted students and some introverted students – and no teacher is going to change that – but certain strategies can promote more equitable and engaging discussions.

—Prof. Bahr

On the following pages, Professor Bahr describes various aspects of how he taught 21L.460 Medieval Literature: Legends of Arthur.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

One previous course in literature

Requirements Satisfied

None

Offered

Usually every other semester

The Classroom

  • Photo shows the classroom with a long, oval seminar table surrounded by chairs and chalkboards on the walls.

    Lecture

    This room seats a maximum of 20 students around a central table with an LCD projector and several chalkboards on the surrounding walls.

 

Assessment

The students' grades were based on the following activities:

The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by a critical/close reading paper. 25% Critical/close reading paper
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by the final project and poster session. 50% Final project and poster session
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by class participation. 25% Class participation
 

Student Information

On average,15 students take this course each time it is offered.

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:

In Class

3 hours per week
  • 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

9 hours per week
  • 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
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
2 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
3 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
4 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
5 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
6 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
7 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. Critical/close reading paper due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
8 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
9 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
10 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Final project proposal due.
11 No classes throughout MIT. Office hours to discuss final project. Office hours to discuss final project. Office hours to discuss final project. Office hours to discuss final project.
12 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
13 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
14 Class session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
15 Poster session. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class sessions are held. Class session
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when office hours to discuss the final project are offered. Office hours to discuss final project
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when poster sessions are held. Poster session
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when the critical/close reading paper or final project proposal is held. Critical/close reading paper or final project proposal due