Department of English

University of Toronto

1000 Series Graduate Course Descriptions

Old English I
A. Walton

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)
Mitchell, Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson. A Guide to Old English. 8 edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 
Introduction to Old English Coursepack

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Lecture, language drill, and discussion.
Evaluation: 20% midterm; 25% final; 30% participation and quizzes; 25% presentation and final paper (word study, 10 pp.)

Previous acquaintance with Latin, German, or other highly inflected language is useful but not essential. 

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Thursday, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Economies of Medieval Drama: East Anglia, Kent, Sussex
M. Sergi

Course Description:
So much of the known corpus of medieval English dramatic texts can be traced to East Anglia that literary historians have tended to assume (sometimes incorrectly) the area’s local performance conventions to be typical of all premodern English performance.  East Anglia does indeed seem to have been an incubator for early plays, but the apparent predominance of East Anglia is exaggerated by the unlucky loss of dramatic texts from other regions.  In nearby Kent and Sussex, for instance, live performance also thrived—but no full scripts are known to survive.  Left behind are the records, most of them financial records, that preserve in detail a different vision of what live performance looked like in England before 1570. In this course, we will read through a selection of medieval East Anglian plays.  Meanwhile, we will comb through the Records of Early English Drama, especially the volumes for Kent and Sussex, for uneasy clues to the broader traditions of performance that surrounded the extant texts.  Our approach will lightly concentrate on economic history—our class will not only drill students’ ability to read texts in untranslated Middle English, but also train them to follow pence, shillings, and pounds through the theatrical records.

Course Reading List: (subject to revision)
The Castle of Perseverance (early 15th C), Mankind (late 15th C), The Digby Mary Magdalene (c. 1500), the Croxton Play of the Sacrament (late 15th C or early 16th C), a course reader, and selections from Records of Early English Drama volumes for Norwich, Cambridge, Sussex, Kent, and elsewhere.

Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
50% seminar paper (including a presentation at the end of term); 15% first-page early draft and provisional bibliography; 20% in-class presentation (each week, a different student will give a 10-minute presentation, then co-facilitate the subsequent discussion); 15% informed participation and engagement.

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017)
Date/Time: Monday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Other Works
K. Gaston

Course Description:
Courses on Chaucer generally focus primarily on the Canterbury Tales, seen in modern times as the highest literary achievement of the preeminent author of the English Middle Ages. Medieval and early modern readers felt rather differently, however: for them Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde was the literary achievement that set the English poet in the ranks of Dante and Petrarch. This course includes a close reading of Troilus and Criseyde with some consideration of its European sources and analogues, including works by Boethius and Boccaccio, as well as earlier works by Chaucer. 
Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements:
Writing assignments will be two short essays (15% and 20%), final paper proposal (5%) and a final research paper (35%). You will also be asked to prepare discussion questions twice (10%) and 15% of the course mark will be based on class participation.

The first texts we read will be Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy and The Book of the Duchess. Required texts are The Riverside Chaucer (3rd Edition) and a modern translation of The Consolation of Philosophy.

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Thursday, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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