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

Summer 2009

E s316K • Masterworks of Literature: English

Unique Days Time Location Instructor

Birkholz, D

Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

A survey of outstanding works from early British literature, with an emphasis on 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; Shakespeare’s Hamlet & King Henry IV pt. I; Milton’s Paradise Lost [selections]; and short poems 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) that 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.

Grading Policy

Old English Paper (3-4 pp): 15%, Middle English Paper (5-7 pp; outside research required): 25%, Shakespeare Group Production Paper (4-5 pages per student): 20%, Final Exam: 20%, In-Class Performance (writing, discussion, engagement, preparation, process work): 20%, On-time Attendance (every absence beginning w/#3 will reduce grade; NC at #5): 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 (8th edition), Shakespeare, Hamlet, Supplemental Course Packet


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