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

Elizabeth Scala

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1994, Harvard University

Elizabeth Scala

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-8375
  • Office: CAL 213
  • Office Hours: W 10-11:30 AM & TH 1-2, 5-5:30 PM
  • Campus Mail Code: B5000

Biography

Elizabeth Scala writes and teaches about Chaucer, the history of Chaucer studies, and the textual environments of medieval literature. Her recently published essays focus on the circulation of desire in the Canterbury Tales; the phallic jokes in the General Prologue and modern historicist criticism; and  illustrations of the Canterbury pilgrims in manuscript and modern books. She has published The Post-Historical Middle Ages (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), a collection of essays co-edited with Sylvia Federico.   

 

She is one of the editors of the journal Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Her Recent Publications:

"The Gender of Historicism" in The Post-Historical Middle Ages  (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 191-214.

"Desire in the Canterbury Tales:  Sovereignty and Mastery Between the Wife and Clerk," Studies in the Age of Chaucer 31 (2009): 81-108.

"The Women in Chaucer's Marriage Group," Medieval Feminist Forum 45.1 (2009): 50-56.

"Yeoman Services:  The Knight, His Critics, and the Pleasures of Historicism," Chaucer Review 45.2 (2010):194-221

"Seeing Red:  The Ellesmere Iconography of Chaucer's Nun's Priest," Word & Image 26.4 (2010): 381-92.

Interests

Chaucer; the history of Chaucer studies; the textual environments of medieval literature.

E 316L • British Literature-Honors

34315 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ 1.122
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E 316L  l  British Literature-HONORS

Instructor:  Scala, E

Unique #:  34315

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Global Cultures

Restrictions:  Prospective English Honors students

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: This course serves as an overview of the most important and influential works of the British literary and linguistic tradition from its beginnings through the 20th century. The course will be conducted in both lecture and discussion format, and the goal of the course will be “coverage”—a vast majority of students’ time will be devoted to reading and annotation. The course will make an effort to give students a coherent narrative of British literature from the earliest writings in English through the major periods and transitions. It will cover important writers, genres, and styles as they characterize those literary periods. This course will aim to provide the foundation for future study in English literature by enabling students to contextualize and relate to each other the specific upper-division classes in which they enroll.

Required Texts: Two-volume Norton Anthology of British Literature: Major Authors, packaged with Norton Critical Edition of Pride and Prejudice; William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Oxford World Classics); Alfred Hitchcock, dir.  Vertigo.

Requirements & Grading: 2 in-class examinations (25% each); final writing project (30%); class participation, preparation and quizzes (20%).

E 350E • Clascl/Sriptl Bckgrnd Of Lit

35835 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 308
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Instructor:  Scala, E

Unique #:  35835

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Global Cultures; Writing (both pending approval)

Restrictions: 

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: English literature is full of classical and Biblical references, both explicit quotations of specific authors and implicit imitations of forms, that students in today’s classroom can have a hard time recognizing.  These works used to be standard texts in the curriculum and could be found on any educated person’s bookshelves.  Many modern students have not yet encountered them directly and thus are at a disadvantage when reading British and American texts that assume their familiarity. In this class we will read the major Greek and Latin “classics” (epic, tragedy, myth) as well as stories in the Christian Bible that form the groundwork of English (and American) literary production.

Texts: Readings include (may be selections): Homer, Iliad, Odyssey; Sophocles, Oedipus Rex; Euripides, Bacchae; Virgil, Aeneid; Ovid, Metamorphoses, Heroides, Ars Amatoria; Aesop, Fables; Old Testament Pentateuch (selections); Song of Songs; New Testament, Gospel of Matthew

Requirements & Grading:  Three essays (30% each) and consistent class participation (10%).

E 376 • Chaucer

35950 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 204
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Instructor:  Scala, E

Unique #:  35950

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Global cultures

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course serves as an introduction to one of the three most important poets in the English tradition—Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton—and the earlier form of the English language in which he composed through an intensive reading of his most famous poem, The Canterbury Tales. Focusing exclusively on the reading and interpretation of the stories that make up this unfinished medieval tale collection, this course operates in terms of some medieval scribal practices: copying, translating, memorizing, and glossing passages as part of a classroom commentary tradition. Rehearsing some of these original practices in our post-modern classroom, we will investigate the clerical, courtly, and intellectual culture in and about which Chaucer writes in both serious and comic forms.

In reading Chaucer’s story collection, we will pay particular attention to the medieval veneration of “old bookes,” noting throughout the semester the various ways Chaucer’s “book” looks toward and depends upon other texts for its significance. We will also perform some book veneration of our own by visiting the HRC, where we will see medieval manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the flesh – literally, on the vellum (sheepskin) on which they were written – and in facsimile as we work to recapture something of late medieval textual culture before the advent of print. We will also take some time to look at the transmission and development of Chaucer’s works by looking at translations, popular serializations, and adaptations of the Canterbury Tales in modern culture.

Texts: Required: The Canterbury Tales, complete. Ed. Larry D. Benson, et. al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Helen Cooper, Oxford Guides to Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. 2nd ed. OUP, 1996.

Requirements & Grading: Three in-class examinations: 20% each; Final Examination: 30%; Class preparation and participation (including any in-class assignments): 10%.

E S314J • Harry Potter's Secret Language

83350 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-230pm GAR 3.116
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Instructor:  Scala, E

Unique #:  83350

Semester:  Summer 2014, second session

Cross-lists:  n/a

Flags:  Writing

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer instruction:  No

Prerequisite: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: This course introduces students to the methods of literary study by exploring the secret language of Harry Potter: the literary references and Latinate spell-casting of J.K. Rowling’s “medievalist” fantasy series. We will read some Rowling as well as J.R.R. Tolkien (another wildly popular modern medievalist) in light of their sources and literary heritage: Chaucer, medieval romances such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and heroic tales like Beowulf.

Requirements and Grading:  3 short essays (30% each); class participation (10%).

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: Brit-Hon

35450 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 103
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Instructor:  Scala, E

Unique #:  35450

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: This course serves as an overview of the most important and influential works of the British literary and linguistic tradition from its beginnings through the 20th century. The course will be conducted in both lecture and discussion format, and the goal of the course will be “coverage”—a vast majority of students’ time will be devoted to reading and annotation. The course will make an effort to give students a coherent narrative of British literature from the earliest writings in English through the major periods and transitions. It will cover important writers, genres, and styles as they characterize those literary periods. This course will aim to provide the foundation for future study in English literature by enabling students to contextualize and relate to each other the specific upper-division classes in which they enroll.

Required Texts: Two-volume Norton Anthology of British Literature: Major Authors, packaged with Norton Critical Edition of Pride and Prejudice; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Annotated; Alfred Hitchcock, dir.  Vertigo.

Requirements & Grading: 2 in-class examinations (25% each); final writing project (30%); class participation, preparation and quizzes (20%).

E 376 • Chaucer

35945 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 105
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Instructor:  Scala, E            Areas:  I / D

Unique #:  35945            Flags:  Global cultures

Semester:  Fall 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course serves as an introduction to one of the three most important poets in the English tradition—Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton—and the earlier form of the English language in which he composed through an intensive reading of his most famous poem, The Canterbury Tales. Focusing exclusively on the reading and interpretation of the stories that make up this unfinished medieval tale collection, this course operates in terms of some medieval scribal practices: copying, translating, memorizing, and glossing passages as part of a classroom commentary tradition. Rehearsing some of these original practices in our post-modern classroom, we will investigate the clerical, courtly, and intellectual culture in and about which Chaucer writes in both serious and comic forms.

In reading Chaucer’s story collection, we will pay particular attention to the medieval veneration of “old bookes,” noting throughout the semester the various ways Chaucer’s “book” looks toward and depends upon other texts for its significance. We will also perform some book veneration of our own by visiting the HRC, where we will see medieval manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the flesh – literally, on the vellum (sheepskin) on which they were written – and in facsimile as we work to recapture something of late medieval textual culture before the advent of print. We will also take some time to look at the transmission and development of Chaucer’s works by looking at translations, popular serializations, and adaptations of the Canterbury Tales in modern culture.

Texts: Required: The Canterbury Tales, complete. Ed. Larry D. Benson, et. al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

Helen Cooper, Oxford Guides to Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. 2nd ed. OUP, 1996.

Requirements & Grading: Three in-class examinations: 20% each; Final Examination: 30%; Class preparation and participation (including any in-class assignments): 10%.

E 392M • Apocryphal Chaucer

36140 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm CAL 221
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This course addresses the “works” of the medieval poet in the earliest days of print culture. Beginning with a reading of Troilus and Criseyde, the most famous English literary romance before the sixteenth century, we will study the various apocryphal poems attached to Chaucer’s Workes beginning in 1532.  Starting with Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid, we will read those texts that continued, imitated, and pretended to be Chaucer’s own in the ever growing, “newly emprinted” Renaissance editions of Thynne, Speght, and Stow.

Some issues: the “dull” 15th century; the rise of the early modern book; formal features and changing paratextual design in the Renaissance book; literary paternity (anxiety); modernization and antiquarian language; new dictionaries; printers and publishers in the early modern book trade

Given these concerns, we will spend some time in the HRC with the Renaissance editions of Chaucer and researching the various individuals concerned with their production

Some textsTroilus and Criseyde; Testament of Cresseid; Dreme of Chaucer; King’s Quair; Assembly of Ladies; Plowman’s Tale; Seige of Thebes; Tale of Beryn

Course requirements:  short reader’s response (20%); annotated bibliography (20%); 20-25 pp research paper (50%); full and consistent classroom participation, including presentation (10%)

Course pre-requisites:  none. But it would help if students had read Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale and Troilus and Criseyde before class begins.  We will not read the Knight’s Tale as part of the course, but some of the “additional” material to the Canterbury Tales takes it for granted that the audience knows the plot of this story and how it continues the narrative.  We will read Troilus over a few weeks in class, but that reading will be deeper and richer if students have already been able to go over the story at least once, for plot if for nothing else.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: Brit-Hon

34950 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 103
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Instructor:  Scala, E            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  34950            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: This course serves as an overview of the most important and influential works of the British literary and linguistic tradition from its beginnings through the 20th century. The course will be conducted in both lecture and discussion format, and the goal of the course will be “coverage”—a vast majority of students’ time will be devoted to reading and annotation. The course will make an effort to give students a coherent narrative of British literature from the earliest writings in English through the major periods and transitions. It will cover important writers, genres, and styles as they characterize those literary periods. This course will aim to provide the foundation for future study in English literature by enabling students to contextualize and relate to each other the specific upper-division classes in which they enroll.

Required Texts: Two-volume Norton Anthology of British Literature: Major Authors, packaged with Norton Critical Edition of Pride and Prejudice; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Annotated; Alfred Hitchcock, dir.  Vertigo.

Requirements & Grading: 2 in-class examinations (25% each); final writing project (30%); class participation, preparation and quizzes (20%).

E 392M • Chaucer Criticism And Theory

35855 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm CAL 221
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This course reads Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and excavates the contours of the critical field, with special emphasis on material since 1985.  Offering a deeper and more extensive reading of the tales than in most undergraduate courses, we will consider questions of genre, source, manuscript production as well as those topics that currently animate critical discussion of Chaucer, including: gender and sexuality; historicism and politic; psychology and character.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British-H

35085 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 103
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Instructor:  Scala, E            Areas:  n/a

Unique #:  35085            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Completion of at least thirty semester hours of coursework, including E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A, and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: This course serves as an overview of the most important and influential works of the British literary and linguistic tradition from its beginnings through the 20th century. The course will be conducted in both lecture and discussion format, and the goal of the course will be “coverage”—a vast majority of students’ time will be devoted to reading and annotation. The course will make an effort to give students a coherent narrative of British literature from the earliest writings in English through the major periods and transitions. It will cover important writers, genres, and styles as they characterize those literary periods. This course will aim to provide the foundation for future study in English literature by enabling students to contextualize and relate to each other the specific upper-division classes in which they enroll.

Required Texts: Two-volume Norton Anthology of British Literature: Major Authors, packaged with Norton Critical Edition of Pride and Prejudice; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, Annotated; Alfred Hitchcock, dir.  Vertigo.

Requirements & Grading: 2 in-class examinations (25% each); final writing project (30%); class participation, preparation and quizzes (20%).

E 376 • Chaucer

35470 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm PAR 308
show description

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course serves as an introduction to one of the three most important poets in the English tradition—Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton—and the earlier form of the English language in which he composed through an intensive reading of his most famous poem, The Canterbury Tales. Focusing exclusively on the reading and interpretation of the stories that make up this unfinished medieval tale collection, this course operates in terms of some medieval scribal practices: copying, translating, memorizing, and glossing passages as part of a classroom commentary tradition. Rehearsing some of these original practices in our post-modern classroom, we will investigate the clerical, courtly, and intellectual culture in and about which Chaucer writes in both serious and comic forms.

In reading Chaucer’s story collection, we will pay particular attention to the medieval veneration of “old bookes,” noting throughout the semester the various ways Chaucer’s “book” looks toward and depends upon other texts for its significance. We will also perform some book veneration of our own by visiting the HRC, where we will see medieval manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the flesh – literally, on the vellum (sheepskin) on which they were written – and in facsimile as we work to recapture something of late medieval textual culture before the advent of print. We will also take some time to look at the transmission and development of Chaucer’s works by looking at translations, popular serializations, and adaptations of the Canterbury Tales in modern culture. 

Texts: Required: The Canterbury Tales, complete. Ed. Larry D. Benson, et. al. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

either: Derek Pearsall, The Canterbury Tales. Routledge, 1994, 1996

or: Helen Cooper, Oxford Guides to Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. 2nd ed. OUP, 1996.

Requirements & Grading: Three in-class examinations: 20% each; Final Examination: 30%; Class preparation and participation (including any in-class assignments): 10%.

E 349S • Chaucer And Shakespeare

34670 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 308
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E 376L (Topic: Chaucer and Shakespeare) may not also be counted.

Course Description: This course investigates the textual relations between two of the foundational writers in English literary history, Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. Reading selections from the Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde, we will look at the ways Chaucer’s poetry provided the source for a number of Shakespeare’s plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, and Two Noble Kinsmen. But we will also look to other relations such as the comparative handling of genre (how was tragedy differently conceived for these writers), history (what were the Latin classics for the two poets) and subjectivity (how did they fashion a sense of intimate interiority). Examining the poems and plays closely, engaging with critical debate about the relation between the two writers, we will also look at the textual cultures in which these individuals wrote by examining original materials at the Humanities Research Center, including medieval manuscripts of Chaucer’s poetry and the edition of Chaucer that Shakespeare likely read.

Texts: The Riverside Chaucer, or The Canterbury Tales, Complete and Troilus and Criseyde; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (all Arden editions of the plays); Two Noble Kinsmen; Troilus and Cressida; Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet.

Grading: Writing Assignments, 20%; Research Group Work, 20%; Final Research Essay, 50%; Classroom performance, 10%.

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

E 392M • Medieval Field Survey

35065 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 4.120
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This course introduces students to a variety of current issues, topics, and methodologies in medieval English studies.  Working across Old and Middle English genres, the course will include presentations from various resident and visiting faculty on their particular areas of expertise and current research. 

Readings

During the semester we will focus our attention on four important texts spanning the “medieval period” as broadly conceived and its various genres: Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, a text bordering the classical and medieval periods that was translated by King Alfred into Old English, by Chaucer into Middle English and by Elizabeth I into Early Modern English; the French Romance of the Rose, also partially translated by Chaucer; the Middle English Pearl; and Walter Hilton’s “best-seller,” Scala Perfectionis.  These texts are in differing and overlapping ways central to medieval English literary studies but are seldom encountered in most regularly organized courses, even at an advanced level.  Supplementing our reading of these larger works will be a number of shorter primary texts (selected lyrics from the Harley 2253 ms, Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, the Life of St. Katherine) as well as the canonical Piers Plowman, and a number of critical and theoretical essays to provoke our discussion throughout the semester.

E 376 • Chaucer

35010 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 PAR 105
show description

Description: This course serves as an introduction to one of the three most important poets in the English tradition—Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton—and the earlier form of the English language in which he composed through an intensive reading of his most famous poem, The Canterbury Tales.  Focusing exclusively on the reading and interpretation of the stories that make up this unfinished medieval tale collection, this course operates in terms of some medieval scribal practices:  copying, translating, memorizing, and glossing passages as part of a classroom commentary tradition.  Rehearsing some of these original practices in our post-modern classroom, we will investigate the clerical, courtly, and intellectual culture in and about which Chaucer writes in both serious and comic forms.

In reading Chaucer’s story collection, we will pay particular attention to the medieval veneration of “old bookes,” noting throughout the semester the various ways Chaucer’s “book” looks toward and depends upon other texts for its significance.  We will also perform some book veneration of our own by visiting the HRC, where we will see medieval manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in the flesh – literally, on the vellum (sheepskin) on which they were written – and in facsimile as we work to recapture something of late medieval textual culture before the advent of print.  We will also take some time to look at the transmission and development of Chaucer’s works by looking at translations, popular serializations, and adaptations of the Canterbury Tales in modern culture.

Requirements:  Reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales requires learning Middle English, and much of the first few class periods will be devoted to acquiring the necessary language skills.  Therefore attendance, preparation, and participation are not simply recommended but mandatory. All readings below are from the course’s required text, The Canterbury Tales: Complete, ed. Larry D. Benson (Houghton Mifflin, 2000) available at the University Co-Op.  An introductory text on the Canterbury Tales  by Derek Pearsall or by Helen cooper is also required reading (see which one is avaialbe at teh Co-op).  Also available for order from me, CD’s of the individual tales. Most cost $10.  I will place an order during the second week of class.  You may order as many as you like, but I recommend that you get at least one to help you with Middle English pronunciation, which in turn will help your reading comprehension generally.

Grading:

There will be three exams (worth 20%) each and a final (worth 30%). The remaining 10% will be comprised of a score on your preparation and participation.  We will work on various in class assignments, which may be collected and marked as part of this grade.

Schedule of Classes:

Tu. 1/19                        Introduction—The most famous opening sentence in English literature

Th. 1/21                        General Prologue

 

Tu. 1/26                        General Prologue

Th. 1/28                        General Prologue

 

Tu. 2/2                        Knight’s Tale (part 1)

Th.  2/4                         Knight’s Tale (part 2-3)

 

Tu. 2/9                        Knight’s Tale

Th. 2/11                         Examination #1           

 

Tu. 2/16                        Miller’s Tale           

Th. 2/18                        Miller’s Tale

 

Tu. 2/23                        Reeve’s Tale           

Th. 2/25                        Reeve’s Tale and Cook’s Tale

 

Tu. 3/2                        Examination #2

Th. 3/4                        Wife of Bath’s Prologue

 

Tu. 3/9                        Wife of Bath’s Prologue

Th. 3/11                        Wife of Bath’s Tale

 

Tu. 3/16                        SPRING BREAK

Th. 3/18                       

 

Tu. 3/23                        Clerk’s Tale           

Th. 3/25                        Clerk’s Tale                       

 

Tu. 3/30                        Merchant’s Tale

Th. 4/1                        Franklin’s Tale

 

Tu. 4/6                        Franklin’s Tale

Th. 4/8                        Examination # 3

 

Tu. 4/13                        Pardoner’s Tale

Th. 4/15                        Pardoner’s Tale

 

Tu. 4/20                        Prioress’s Tale

Th. 4/22                        Nun’s Priest’s Tale

 

Tu. 4/27                        Nun’s Priest’s Tale

Th. 4/29                        Manciple’s Tale   

 

Tu. 5/4                        Parson’s Prologue and Retraction           

Th.5/6                                    FINAL EXAMINATION           

 

Classroom Policies: Though not a writing flag course, this is an upper-division, reading-intensive English course.  I expect students to attend class every time, to have a copy of the Canterbury Tales with them, and to have prepared the material on the syllabus for that day.  If you will be absent for any reason, I would appreciate an email letting me know.  Three absences  (or 10% of our scheduled meetings) will result in a course grade deduction by 10 points—a full letter grade Each absence thereafter will reduce the grade by another five points.  

 

The grade scale for the course will be as follows. Grades are not automatically rounded up:

100-95 A; 94.99-90 A-; 89.99-86 B+; 85.99-83 B; 82.99-80 B-; 79.99-76 C+; 75.99-73 C; 72.99-70 C-; 69.99-65 D; 64.99 and below F.

 

The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.

E 376L • Chaucer & Shakespeare-Honors-W

35230 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 210
show description

TBD

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