Department of English

University of Toronto

1000 Series Course Descriptions

Old English 1
D. Klausner

Course Description:
An introduction for reading knowledge to the oldest literary form of English, with discussion of readings drawn from the surviving prose and verse literature.

Course Reading List: (subject to revision)
The textbook for 1001 will be Peter Baker, Introduction to Old English (Wiley/Blackwell - 3rd ed). Further readings will be posted on QUERCUS.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Essay/Research Paper - 30%
10 weekly in-class grammar tests - 25%
Final Exam - 25%
Participation - 20% of final mark
Previous acquaintance with Latin, German, or other highly inflected language is useful but not essential.

Term: F-TERM (September 2020 to December 2020)
Date/Time: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Wednesdays

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Medieval Drama: Morality Plays
M. Sergi

Course Description:
Dramatic players can embody (and in embodying, personify) ideas, tendencies, and emotions as readily as they can take on realistic human characters—so readily, perhaps, that morality plays may be taken less as a distinctively medieval genre than as a reflex of dramatic performance toward psychomachic allegory more generally. Our course, in its coverage of English-language morality plays c. 1350–c. 1530, will resist critical tendencies that assume any continuous, coherent tradition underlies the extant works, as much as it makes mutual influence among some of those works plainly visible. It will demonstrate the obvious effects of proto-Protestant reforms (and resistances to them) on morality plays, even as it rejects a critical tendency to reduce these plays to their instrumentality in broader movements. In our approach to those works, we will concentrate on newer secondary readings (i.e. published within the last fifteen years, including Johnson, Brantley, Paulson) that have brought forward the moralities’ mutual influence with literary and religious culture, while at the same time deploying performance studies and practice-based research—yes, participating in live recitation and staging will be a requirement of the class—to hone in on what makes these plays, and their outward embodiment of internality, performative.

Course Reading List:
TBA, but likely to include: The Pride of Life (anon), The Castle of Perseverance (anon), Wisdom (anon), Mankind (anon), Everyman (anon), Nature (Medwall), Youth (anon), Hickscorner (anon), Magnificence (Skelton), and an array of critical works.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Research Paper (with option to extend length), delivered at end of term in a mock-conference, 35%; two Performance/Recitation Assignments, totalling 30%; Middle English Proficiency Quiz, 15%; Engagement and Participation, 20%.

Term: S-TERM (January 2021 to April 2021)
Date/Time: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Mondays
(SYNCHRONOUS), JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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