MEMS 465 - Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Section: 001 Reading Chaucer for Pleasure
Term: FA 2014
Subject: Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS)
Department: LSA History
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

What forms of pleasure might we get from reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales? We might speculate that we could derive considerable aesthetic and intellectual pleasure from discovering the potential meanings of complex verbal works, from learning to hear the sounds of the Middle English poetry, and from mastering challenging verbal texts. There might be emotional pleasure in discovering vital human connections to a long-dead author. There might be the solid intellectual pleasure of conducting research in order better to answer our questions about poetic references to historical cultural practices, artifacts, and religion. There might be pleasure in examining early manuscripts and print versions of Chaucer’s work and discerning what kinds of pleasure other readers have derived from the work. This course does not set out to predict what pleasures students might discover in Chaucer’s masterpiece, but it does invite students to discern for themselves what constitutes their literary pleasures, and how those pleasures might be the basis for writing about literature.

Course Requirements:

Course requirements include translation exercises, creative responses to the work, short research projects, online writing, and a formal essay.

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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MEMS 465 - Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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