British Literature: Middle Ages Through the Renaissance
This is not the current course catalog
In this course, we will survey the beginnings of British literature, from the Anglo-Saxon through the Early Modern: Beowulf, Chaucer, Langland, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne. In addition to providing an overview of British literature through the mid-seventeenth century, the course will also ask students to think about the category of the “premodern” and what purpose it might serve for intellectual and literary history. Instead of viewing early British literature as an evolutionary journey towards “modern” thought, we will progress thematically and explore rhythms of attachment and detachment among texts along the lines of weekly themes (dreaming, humanisms, romance, reform). Students will read and analyze literary texts according to how these works represent or contribute to key historical and intellectual debates.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: participation in class discussion, two 5- to 8-page papers, short writing assignments, and a final exam
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: English majors
Distributions: Division I;