E 379N • Survey of Early English Literature
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
This course is a survey of outstanding literary texts from Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, and early 17th-century England. Works will be considered in their social and historical contexts, but also in terms of their evolving critical contexts (that is, from multiple, and sometimes conflicting, theoretical perspectives). Major texts will likely include: Seamus Heaney's Beowulf; Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; Sir Gawain & the Green Knight; The Book of Margery Kempe; More's Utopia; Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Henry IV Pt. I; some of Milton's Paradise Lost; and short selections by Wyatt, Surrey, Marlowe, Raleigh, Herrick, Donne, Marvell, Amelia Lanyer, and Queen Elizabeth I, among others.
Upon completion of the course, students will have gained a solid grasp of early English literary history and its seminal texts. Just as importantly, students will acquire a set of critical tools (writing, reading, research, and analytical skills) which will enable them to approach classic texts in new and original ways. No prior experience with early literary study is expected, but student engagement, enthusiasm, and self-direction are highly desirable.
(Assignment specifics discussed in class; percentages approximate & subject to change.)
Old English Paper (4-6 pp.; some research) 25%
Middle English Paper (6-7 pp; considerable research) 30%
Shakespeare Group Production Paper (approx 5 pages per student) 25%
In-Class Performance (writing, discussion, engagement, preparation, process work) 20%
On-time Attendance (every absence beginning w/#4 will reduce grade; NC at #9) Required
On-time Completion of Reading, Writing & Feedback Assignments Required
All assignments must be completed satisfactorily to receive any passing grade for the course.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1 (7th edition)
Supplemental Course Packet