26023 - Medieval Women's Literature

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Patrizia Caraffi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-FIL-LET/09

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Modern, Post-Colonial and Comparative Literatures (cod. 0981)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student achieves in-depth knowledge of medieval women's writing. He acquires abilities for the analysis and the interpretation of the literary text.

Course contents

Women in writing


From a comparative and gender perspective, the course introduces some important medieval women writers  and the study of the various forms of representation, between image and text, of artists and intellectuals in the main literary genres in the Middle Ages.



From April 5th 2022

Tuesday- Wednesday-Thursday

15.30-17.00, FICLIT


Primary sources:

Maria di Francia, Lais, Carocci

Français:Lais bretons (XIIe-XIIIesiècles): Marie de France et ses contemporains.Édition bilingue établie, traduite, présentée et annotée par Nathalie Koble et Mireille Séguy, Paris, Champion (Champion Classiques. Moyen Âge, 32).

English:The Lays of Marie de France, transl. by D.R. Slavitt, Edmonton, AU Press, 2013. Español:María de Francia, Lais, introducción, traducción y notas de Carlos Álvar, Madrid, Alianza, 2004.


Christine de Pizan, La Città delle dame, Carocci.

English: Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, translated by E. J. Richards, New York, Persea books, 1998 or Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, translated by Rosalind Brown-Grant, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1999.


Flamenca, Carocci (available online).

 Français: Flamenca, édité par F. Zufferey et V. Fasseur, Paris, Livres de Poche, 2014.


Heldris di Cornovaglia, Il romanzo di Silence, Carocci.

Français: Le Roman de Silence. Roman d’ Heldris de Cornuailles,  in Récits d’amour et de chevalerie, XIIe-XVe siècles,  Paris, Robert Laffont.

Español: Heldris de Cornualles, El libro de Silence,  Madrid, Siruela.

Optional texts

Boccaccio, Decameron, X,X : Griselda (Teaching resources on Virtuale)

Historia de la doncella Teodor (Teaching resources on Virtuale))

Chrétien de Troyes, Philomena (Teaching resources on Virtuale)

A. Byatt, Il genio nell'occhio d'usignolo, Einaudi

Bibliography of Secondary texts (essays, articles, volumes)

P. Caraffi, Figure femminili del sapere, Carocci

P. Caraffi (a cura di), Christine de Pizan. Una città per sé, Carocci

P. Caraffi (a cura di), Corpi da paura, Odoya, I Libri di Emil.

A. Cavarero, Tu che mi guardi, tu che mi racconti, Feltrinelli

A. Giallongo, La donna serpente, edizioni Dedalo





Teaching methods

Lessons, seminars and conferences given by external scholars.

Language: ITALIAN

Attendance and active participation in the lectures and conferences of the visiting teachers are required. Attendance is compulsory for GEMMA students.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of an oral test. The knowledge of the individual topics covered during the course, the ability to contextualize the cultural and literary phenomena and to identify the elements of originality of the texts studied, the ability to personal and critical re-elaboration of the reference bibliography and the language properties will be evaluated with top marks. A manual competence without any interpretative support will be considered to be positive but will not be given a high grade. Training gaps, superficial analyses, inappropriate and confused language will make the evaluation insufficient.

Teaching tools

Multimedia resources (films, Power Point, audio and image projection, links to Internet sites, etc.)

Office hours

See the website of Patrizia Caraffi