Brief Description of Course: An introductory survey of poetry (mostly), prose (some), and drama (just a little) written in the British Isles from the tenth century (more or less) to around 1700. The three pillars of the course will be Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton, and we will look at as wide a variety of other material as possible that influenced and was influenced by these authors. Topics of lecture and discussion will be eclectic, and are still to be determined, but one thematic through-line will be the representation of paradise or utopia: how, where, and with what formal and stylistic gestures do the authors we consider imagine the best of all possible worlds?
Required Reading: Full list TBD; we will definitely read one or two of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; a book of Spenser’s Faerie Queene; and some or all of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
First Three Authors/Texts: TBD; if you want to get started on course reading over the winter break, you should consider reading Paradise Lost.
Method of Instruction: One two-hour lecture plus one small-group tutorial per week.Method of Evaluation: TBD: you will likely write one or two short papers (30% total), one longer paper (30%), and one test (20%), and be asked to participate in tutorial discussion (20%).