ENGLISH 450 - Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Section: 001 Self and Society in Earlier English Literature
Term: FA 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.

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)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780393912494
Volume A: The Middle Ages, Author: Simpson, James, 1954-, Publisher: Norton 2012
ISBN: 9780460873895
Arthurian romances, Author: Chre?tien, de Troyes, active 12th century., Publisher: Dent 2001
ISBN: 9781879288621
The Middle English Breton lays, Publisher: Medieval Inst. Publ., Western Michigan Univ 2004
ISBN: 9781580441254
Amis and Amiloun, Robert of Cisyle, and Sir Amadace, Publisher: Medieval Institute Publications 2007
ISBN: 9780140447590
The lais of Marie de France. With two further lais in the original Old French, Author: Marie., Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd 1999
ISBN: 9780921149927
Sir Gawain and the green knight : Middle English text with facing translation, Publisher: Broadview Press 2011
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