Introduction to the Troubadours
William Paden, Northwestern University
This course introduced students to the troubadours, poets of the South of France in the Middle Ages, and the Occitan language in which they wrote. Students focused on learning to read the texts in the original language, and on understanding the phenomenon of love, often called “courtly,” that was the troubadours’ greatest subject. They studied the language in Paden, An Introduction to Old Occitan, and learned to translate troubadour poetry in that book; read a book of English translations, Paden and Paden, Troubadour Poems from the South of France; and refered to selected essays in two recent collaborative histories, Gaunt and Kay, The Troubadours: An Introduction, and Akehurst and Davis, A Handbook of the Troubadours. Students considered the performance of troubadour poetry in song as well as historical issues including the court, gender relations, and desire.
Participants: Amy Oberlin, Loyola University Chicago; Daniel O’Gorman, Loyola University Chicago; Steven Catania, Loyola University Chicago; Thomas Juettner, Loyola University Chicago; and Panagiotis Siampos, Loyola University Chicago.
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