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Publications in VIVO

Samuelson, Charles L Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Charlie Samuelson is a specialist of medieval French literature. He is interested in courtly literature of both the High and the Late Middle Ages. His current book project considers in tandem two sorts of verse narratives: high medieval verse romance, best known for the twelfth-century work of Chrétien de Troyes; and late medieval dits amoureux, associated in particular with the fourteenth-century oeuvre of Guillaume de Machaut. His research focuses, on the one hand, on the indeterminacy of courtly texts: how they persistently play with form and self-consciously indulge the messiness of language. Resisting any impulse, though, to conceive of medieval literature in primarily formal or esthetic terms, his research also attends to how poetic play routinely, and almost invariably, spills into gender and sexual politics: to the political implications, often remarkably subtle, of the devious self-consciousness of medieval French literature.


  • Medieval French literature, Romance, Literary Theory



courses taught

  • FREN 1200 - Medieval Epic Through Game of Thrones
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Covers the most important works of medieval literature, in English translation. Among the texts studied are the Nibelungenlied, the Song of Roland, and Arthurian romances, including the stories of Lancelot and Guinevere and Tristan and Isolde. Offers a general introduction for nonmajors to medieval literature and society. Taught in English.
  • FREN 3100 - Introduction to Critical Reading and Writing in French Literature
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Study of French literature through close readings of representative examples of major literary forms (poetry, fiction, drama, essay) and through the composition of critical writings in French. Required for French majors.
  • FREN 3110 - Main Currents of French Literature 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Surveys 19th and 20th century French literature. Close reading of selected texts and the principal writers and schools.This course or FREN 3120 are required for all majors.
  • FREN 5120 - French Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Different topics are offered and, in a number of cases, cross-listed with other departments. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics.
  • FREN 5250 - Medieval and Renaissance Readings
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Through close readings of masterpieces of French medieval and Renaissance literature in conjunction with contemporary criticism and theory, explores the contexts of medieval and Renaissance France. Readings in French. May be taught in English to accommodate students in other programs. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours on different topics.
  • ITAL 4140 - The Age of Dante: Readings from The Divine Comedy
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Focuses on close reading of Dante's poetry with emphasis on the intellectual, religious, political, and scientific background of the medieval world. Taught in English. Degree credit not granted for this course and ITAL 4145 or ITAL 4147 or HUMN 4140.


International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)