ENGL 431. Medieval Literature
Three hours lecture (3).
Prerequisites: CORE 101 and CORE 102; ENGL 300 or permission of department chair.
Study of major literary works composed in England during the Middle Ages (6 th through 15 th centuries). Special attention to the works and language of Chaucer.
Detailed Description of Content of Course
The primary focus of the course is on the close reading of major literary texts composed in England during the Middle Ages. Cultural, historical and linguistic contexts for reading and analysis of these texts is provided through lectures and through assigned reading of secondary texts, including selected readings in related literatures. Students also read, respond to and discuss selected criticism of medieval English literary works, such criticism reflecting a variety of critical approaches (e.g., historical, formalist, structuralist, reader-response, feminist, etc.)
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
Students read a substantial portion of the literature of medieval England as well as selected historical and critical texts. Readings are examined through lecture and discussion led by the instructor; through oral presentations by students; through in-class peer group and workshop activities. Students use both writing and speaking as ways of developing critical and analytical skills. Writing may include informal writing—in-class and out, in the form of journals, reading and learning logs, class exercises—intended to allow students to develop an approach to the understanding of medieval literature. Writing may also include formal writing such as critiques of scholarly articles addressing some aspect of the literature read for class; research reports on some aspect of medieval history or culture; and analytical essays on a selected text or texts, drawing on secondary sources where appropriate. Both informal and formal writing may provide the foundation for oral presentations.
Goals and Objectives of Course
Students who complete this course will have achieved familiarity with major works of the medieval period in England. They will be able to respond to this literature in the relevant social, historical and cultural contexts. They will be familiar with and able to comprehend the various critical approaches to this literature, and they will be able to compose independent critical analyses of selected works.
Familiarity with he major works of the medieval period in England may be assessed through traditional quizzes and examinations, in-class or take-home. The ability to respond to this literature within the context of relevant social, cultural and historical backgrounds, to comprehend various critical approaches and critically analyze selected works may be assessed through oral presentations, informal writing (e.g., journals, reading and learning logs) and formal writing such as critiques of scholarly articles, research reports on some aspect of medieval history or culture and analytical essays on a selected text or texts, drawing on secondary sources where appropriate.
Other Course Information
Review and Approval