Graduate Courses - 2009 - 2010 Winter Session, 1000 Series
OLD ENGLISH I
An introduction for reading knowledge to the oldest literary form of English, with discussion of readings drawn from the surviving prose and verse literature.
Lecture, language drill, and discussion.
B. Mitchell and F. Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 7th edition. *
*Please Note: Change of textbook
Previous acquaintance with Latin, German, or other highly inflected language is useful but not essential.
Tuesday 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Room 313, Innis College
OLD ENGLISH I I
A. D. HEALEY
This course is devoted to a reading of Beowulf, within the context of the English heroic age. The heroic concepts and values which inform the poem will be analyzed primarily through the poet’s linguistic choices and rhetorical strategies: the poetic compounds he coins or appropriates, his appositions, variations, and digressions. Language will be used as a tool to explore cultural questions such as the manipulation of kindred and ethnic affinities and the constructions of legitimate and illegitimate violence. In addition, we will be concerned with questions of dating, of meter, of the authority of the manuscript, of the poem in its manuscript context, and, finally, of the evidence of archaeology.
The class will meet twice a week for 1½ hours each. Class time will be spent in lecture, discussion, and in translation of the poem. Each student will be expected to lead at least one seminar (with a 1-2 page critique handed in on the day of the seminar). There will be a mid-term translation test, and a final paper (15-20 pages). Evaluation: class work 10%; seminar 20%; translation test 30%; essay 40%.
Edition: Bruce C. Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, eds. Beowulf: An Edition (Blackwell: Oxford 1993); Secondary: Robert Bjork and John Niles, eds., A Beowulf Handbook (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997); Andy Orchard, A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Cambridge: Brewer 2003).
ENG 1001F or its equivalent is essential.
Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Room 14284, Robarts
BODY AND IDENTITY IN MIDDLE ENGLISH LITERATURE
S. C. AKBARI
The last fifteen years have produced both some of
the best and some of the worst critical approaches to medieval understandings of the body. These range from irresponsibly anachronistic projections of modern constructions onto medieval texts to nuanced studies which take into account both medieval and modern frameworks in assessing the relationship of body and identity. This course focuses on the ways in which conceptions of the body rooted in medieval theological and medical discourses are reflected in literature of the later Middle Ages. We will focus particularly on texts in which bodily change or metamorphosis accompanies a shift in identity – whether as its precursor or as its consequence.
Students will be expected to participate regularly in seminar discussions and to offer several short, informal oral presentations. Grade breakdown is as follows: seminar participation (20%); short presentations (20%); abstract (500 words; 10%); research paper (5000 words; 50%).
Required readings include selections from the Canterbury Tales (Wife of Bath's, Pardoner's, and Shipman's Tales), as well as the King of Tars, the Book of Margery Kempe, and Richard Coer de Lion. Supplementary readings will be drawn from modern theorists such as Judith Butler as well as medieval cultural historians such as Caroline Bynum and Thomas Laqueur.
Previous work in Middle English (or permission of the instructor) is a
prerequisite for this class.
Monday 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Room F204, University College
DISCOURSES OF VERNACULAR SPIRITUALITY
D. R. TOWNSEND
Middle English devotional practice, as performance of authorised modes of subjectivity, negotiated binaries fundamental to the ideologies of late medieval English society—and fundamental as well to the ideologies of twentieth-century medievalist scholarship. This course will address a selection of Middle English texts clustered around the commemoration of the life and passion of Christ and their internalisation in the life of the believer. Tensions common to these works between experience and expression, inspiration and acculturation, embodiment and transcendence, unlettered piety and erudite devotion, empathic identification and distanced contemplation both articulate the normative power relations of medieval religious discourse and offer sites of resistance that allow for heterodox and counter-hegemonic practice. Special attention will be given to intertextual relations among these works, as their early readerships may plausibly be seen to have overlapped.
Discussion and seminar presentations with term essay.
Texts: Ancrene Riwle; Nicholas Love, A Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ; Julian of Norwich, Showings of Divine Love; The Cloud of Unknowing; The Book of Margery Kempe; The Croxton Play of the Sacrament.
Course in medieval literature (graduate or undergraduate).
Wednesday 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Room 310, Lillian Massey Building, Centre for Medieval Studies
This course sets out to consider the “literariness” of Chaucer’s work. Students will be expected to read all of Chaucer’s major poems, which we will be discussing alongside readings in critical theory – including work by Adorno, Benjamin, Levinas, Blanchot, Derrida, Barthes, Lacan, Kristeva, Žižek, and Jameson – and a selection of secondary studies of Chaucer.
Student will be required to complete an annotated bibliography of all secondary reading for the course (20%); weekly close reading exercises (20%); and a long essay (50%). Class participation will be worth 10%.
The course is recommended for those who already have some background in Middle English, and have begun reading Chaucer’s works (The Riverside Chaucer will be the edition set). Students who wish to take the course but do not have any background in Middle English or literary theory should contact Professor Gillespie before enrolling – she can set some preparatory reading.
Wednesday 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
NOTE ROOM CHANGE: Room 301, Centre for Medieval Studies, Lillian Massey Building
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