East is East? Cross-Cultural Encounters in Medieval French Literature (MLF2069)

15 credits

Much of what we think of as ‘Western culture’ has been marked by colonialism and its emphasis on racial and cultural differences. But how should we understand the varieties of conflict and cooperation that took place across cultural borders before the advent of colonialism, and how do they relate to our contemporary world? This module looks at representations of the ‘East’ in four very different medieval French texts: how these texts work to project an image of the ‘foreign’, and the uses to which such constructions are put.