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
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
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)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

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
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 038549081X
The handmaid's tale, Author: Margaret Atwood., Publisher: Anchor Books 1st Anchor 1998
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1910974234
Refugee tales
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ENGLISH 465 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)