ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Fall 2018, Section 001 - Self and Society in Earlier English Literature
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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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.

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). This course meets the pre-1642 and poetry requirements for the English concentration.

Intended Audience:

No prior knowledge of Middle English is expected or required.


ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
9/4/18 - 12/11/18

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