DOI: 10.1111/lic3.12738 ISSN:

Teaching Chaucer in Tunisia: An interdisciplinary approach

Wajih Ayed
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Cultural Studies


Pedagogies of the premodern in anglophone contexts face many obstacles, like cultural differences, linguistic remoteness, and stereotypical representations. In EFL learning and teaching settings, student motivation, cultural adequation, and historical imagination are also needed. In Tunisia, this was further complicated after the Jasmine Revolution when newly radicalised students of English resented aspects of premodern literature which they considered inaccurate, uninteresting, or inappropriate. In this paper, the author presents a learning and teaching model developed to help post‐revolutionary Tunisian learners with diverse backgrounds and orientations better understand and appreciate the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Combining elements of cognitive studies, comparative literature, and digital codicology, this bricolage was used in graduate seminars at the University of Sousse to study digitised manuscripts and texts in Arabic, Latin, and (Middle) English. Informed by active pedagogy and enhanced by audio‐visual aids, activities based on this model effectively addressed challenges, helped achieve learning outcomes, and made Tunisians more at home with Chaucer.

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