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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2009

E 379S • Mirrors and Doubling in Renaissance Poetry

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34620 MW
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
RAS 218
Barret, J

Course Description

As part of our University-directed self-assessment project, the English Department has initiated an ePortfolio program for English majors. You will be asked to submit, in electronic form, two documents--a one page essay on the English major and a copy of your final paper for the seminar. Additionally, you will be asked to complete a brief four question survey. During the semester, you will receive details from your instructor or from the English Department on completing the survey and submitting the documents on your senior seminar's Blackboard website.

What do we see when we look in a mirror? Beginning with the myth of Narcissus, this question has haunted art and literature for centuries. This course examines the mirror, and the process of doubling, in Renaissance poetry. As we approach a broad sampling of texts that represent reflection, we will consider a variety of questions: For example, does the mirror inspire a unique poetic voice? How does the double figure in, or complicate, poetic performance? We will consider both doubled characters and doubled words as we trace images reflected in the Renaissance mirror. In addition to focusing on various iterations of the trope in poetry and the visual arts, this course will also introduce students to critical essays and research methodologies that will aid students in building toward writing a final research paper.

Grading Policy

Three essays (two essays of 3-4 pages each, one essay of 8-10 pages), an in-class presentation, and a final essay prospectus will make up the bulk of the final grade. Attendance and engaged participation are mandatory.

Essay 1: 15%
Essay 2: 20%
Prospectus: 5%
Essay 3: 25%
Informal response papers and in-class presentation: 15%
Class participation: 20%


Selected shorter poems: Petrarch, Wyatt, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare
Chapman, Ovid's Banquet of Sense
Spenser, The Faerie Queene


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