ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Section: 002 Self and Society in Earlier English Literature
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Some of the most fascinating and challenging works in earlier English literature worry at the problems that arise when people seek to find and understand themselves, both as inwardly defined individuals and as socially defined members of various groups: a marriage, a friendship, a noble court, or a nation, for instance. Do self-discovery and social identity confirm and support one another? Do they undermine or even endanger one another? How does literature contribute to the quest for a self, whether in or out of society? We will read a variety of literary versions of the relation of self and society, including Beowulf; works by Marie de France, Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, and Malory; and selections from the prolific Middle English writer Anonymous. We will also consider key critical approaches to discern how current debates can open our eyes to new questions and insights. Old English and Old French works will be read in translation; those in Middle English will be read in the original language, aided by editions designed to make them accessible. No prior knowledge of Middle English is expected or required.

Course Requirements:

Work for the course will include (almost) weekly short responses and close readings, a class presentation, two critical essays (5 and 10 pages), the longer of which will be accompanied by an annotated bibliography.

ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (REC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780393912494
The Norton anthology of English literature., Author: Stephen Greenblatt, general editor, M.H. Abrams, founding editor., Publisher: W.W. Norton 9th ed. 2012
ISBN: 046087389X
Arthurian romances, Author: Chretien de Troyes ; translated, with an introduction and notes, by D.D.R. Owen., Publisher: Dent Reissued. 1993
ISBN: 1879288621
The Middle English Breton lays, Author: ed. by Anne Laskaya ..., Publisher: Medieval Inst. Publ., Western Michigan Univ. 3. print 1995
ISBN: 1580441254
Amis and Amiloun, Robert of Cisyle, and Sir Amadace, Author: edited by Edward E. Foster., Publisher: Medieval Institute Publications 2nd ed. 2007
ISBN: 0140447598
The lais of Marie de France, Author: translated with an introduction by Glyn S. Burgess and Keith Busby., Publisher: Penguin books 2nd ed. 2003
ISBN: 0921149921
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight : Middle English text with facing translation, Author: edited and translated by James Winny., Publisher: Broadview Press New Ed. 1992
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