From the time writing was introduced along with Christianity in the seventh century, England has enjoyed a lively literary culture. That literature both shaped and was shaped by its cultural milieu, and in turn has helped form contemporary literary tastes and values. Much of that literature was composed within cultural conditions little studied in today's high schools and in forms of English no longer spoken, so class time will be spent on learning formative historical events and changes in the English language as well as the study of poetry, prose, and drama. Expect to read Old English verse (in translation), Anglo-French romance (also in translation), Chaucer, Shakespeare, lyric verse by both men and women, and all sorts of amazing early literature you never knew existed. Evaluation will include quizzes, informal written responses, formal essays, and three examinations.
If the course number has the W suffix, note that it's the a writing intensive edition of the class. When that's true, we will spend extra time writing about the literature, with a particular focus on developing arguments through close reading.
- The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, vol. A, 2nd ed. (Broadview, 2011). The first edition is also acceptable.
- The pass code (for accessing extra online content) that should come with your Broadview anthology if you purchased it new. If you purchased a used edition, you must buy a passcode ($6.95) at www.broadviewpress.com/babl (click “Buy a Website Passcode” from the right-hand menu).
- William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Signet Classics) (other student editions may be acceptable, if you already own them; please bring them to me so that I can check them out) You may NOT use a Kindle edition - you MUST have a paper copy of this text.
- Other texts will be made available online and in PDF format.
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Signet Classics) (other student editions will be acceptable, and you MAY use a Kindle edition of this text).
Please check the English Department course listings page for the current time and room