ENGLISH 465 - Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Section: 001 The Canterbury Tales: Telling Tales, Medieval and Modern
Term: FA 2017
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Cross-Listed Classes:
Primary Instructor:

This class is an introduction to the work of the most influential literary figure of the English Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer, and it focuses on his major work, the Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories presented as tales told by different tellers. Through this structure, the Canterbury Tales explore how stories create and sustain communities, how they can be used to challenge established social identities, and how and why some kinds of stories are valued or devalued. They do this through (serious, sad, outrageous, and funny) narratives that take up questions about friendship, family, sex, politics, religion, and more. Above all, they explore the way that stories always belong, in some way, to someone other than the teller—to earlier or geographically distant cultures, to contemporary audiences, as well as to the ‘future’ (a word the Chaucer introduced to the English language). We’ll end the course by thinking about some of the Canterbury Tale’s own futures in contemporary works that think about what stories can do and what it means to tell someone else’s story: Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Refugee Tales, a collection of stories told to and by contemporary writers by refugees detained in Britain.

Course Requirements:

Short writing assignments (often in class), two presentations, two papers, exam.

Intended Audience:

This course is open to all students interested in English literature, medieval literature and culture, and, more broadly, well-told stories and their relationship to the social worlds they inhabit. It satisfies the pre-1600 and Poetry requirements for the English major.

ENGLISH 465 - Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
P
24507
Open
18
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Note:
You may use an alternative edition of the Canterbury Tales as long as it is in Chaucer's original language (Middle English), not a modernized text. You may also use an alternative edition of the Handmaid's Tale. You must have all books in paper copy (not a digital text). Please contact me if the cost of the course materials is prohibitive for you.
ISBN: 9781554811069
The Canterbury tales, Author: Geoffrey Chaucer ; edited by Robert Boenig & Andrew Taylor., Publisher: Broadview Press 2nd ed. 2012
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 038549081X
The handmaid's tale, Author: Margaret Atwood., Publisher: Anchor Books 1st Anchor 1998
Required
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1910974234
Refugee tales
Required
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