SYLLABUS VIEW, English 211.001, Fall 2013 [Last Revised: 02 October, 2014 09:54:11 AM]
Weekly Schedule and Assignments and Link to In-Class Performance Schedule
Boldface black type indicates "terms of art," words that professional literary scholars use and that cannot be paraphrased because they describe basic literary concepts and formal features of literary works that are essential to the profession. Using our terms of art correctly is one way to signal that you belong to this subculture of academia. You should be able to define and explain the terms of art for the day on which they're scheduled because they are relevant to understanding the reading. Most definitions are to be found in Abrams' Glossary (required for English majors and on Course Reserve at the library). I also have hyperlinked each term to a short definition with examples. To see the entire glossary, click here. Some page numbers correspond to the Ninth Edition (2000) of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume 1, but you may find many left-over 8th edition page numbers. If the numbers do not fit the assignment, follow the table of contents of the edition you are reading.
Monday, 8/25: Before class, read in the Norton Anthology of English Literature, an excerpt from the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, by the Venerable Bede 29-32--Bede is writing in two different languages, Latin and Old English or Anglo-Saxon, and his discussion of translation will be important to your understanding of what you see for Wednesday and Friday in the translations of Beowulf, Wanderer, "Wife's Lament," and the Battle of Maldon. For those of you who have taken English 215, what would the New Critics say was "the text, itself," for each of these three "works"?
Then familiarize yourself with the following Web pages: course home page, the "required graded work" page, "Why does the English major require a survey course?," "why you should care about this course." (If you have time and want to dig deeper into the history of English as a discipline) Sean Shesgreen, "Canonizing the Canonizer: A Short History of The Norton Anthology of English Literature," Critical Inquiry Vol. 35, No. 2 (Winter 2009), pp. 293-318. (Available online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/596644)
Introduction of how the course works within the major; how the syllabus and other web pages should be used each week with the Norton Anthology; and the daily class routine including unannounced quizzes and student in-class performances and interpretations of individual works. What you do with the course web site and what you can find there depends upon what level of engagement with English literature you want/need, but it helps if you understand how a survey course works (see "rationale" link above). If we have time, we will discuss what makes Pre-Modern English literature different from Early Modern or even Modern English literature. What kind of "technology" is literacy, and what are the rules for reading very old literature? You could do worse than take an inventory of your current "normal literacy rules." As you read this syllabus online, or the next class's assignments in the printed Norton Anthology, pay attention to the "metaliterate" skills you use to tell you how to operate the text. For instance, do you know what the underscoring in the following "terms of art" means? When you open the Norton, what do you expect to find in the front of the book and how do you know where the Bede excerpt will be found? Those elements of books' "apparatus" did not exist in the earliest printed books or in earlier manuscript books for the simple reason that readers did not require them. Why do you need those things now? Quiz #0. Here is the actual plan of St. Gall Abbey, a structure which still survives.
Wednesday, 8/27: two lyric elegies and a major fragment from an epic song--Wanderer (117-20), "The Wife's Lament" (120-22), the "Battle of Maldon" (Click here for Jonathan A. Glenn's ModE translation of the poem, which was cut from the Norton 8th edition.) Click here for a one-paragraph introduction to Old English or Anglo-Saxon and that language's relations to the Middle English of Chaucer's era. Terms of art: literacy, orality, performance of the text, interpretation of the text, social functions of literature, aesthetics.
Friday, 8/29: excerpts from another, much longer epic song: Beowulf, lines 1-835, 2200-2354, and 2510-3182 (9th ed. pages 34-51, 8--83, and 86-100. Terms of art: poetic stress vs. poetic meter, alliterative verse, kenning, elegy, epic, "scop" (OE, <"skop">bard, singer). Click here for some ideas to help you make sense of this earliest literature's relationship to the rest of the course. Here is an artist's attempt to recreate the Anglo-Saxon mead hall (i.e., Heorot, Hrothgar's hall).
Monday 9/1: LABOR DAY HOLIDAY--GENESIS QUIZ ON GOUCHERLEARN! It's time to earn some English major points by reading crucial excerpts from the Christian Bible that almost all medieval Europeans would have known by heart. Most would have been taught orally/aurally by priests, friars, and clerks (student "TA"s). Few medieval Christians would have known the Bible by reading it because so few of them were Latin literate, and even fewer knew how to read and write Old or Middle English.. The reading assignment is Genesis, chapters 1-9, which covers Creation, Adam and Eve, the Fall; Cain & Abel; and Noah's Flood. When you have read the passages, take the comprehension quiz located on GoucherLearn to find out what kind of medieval Christian you would have been. (There were all sorts, from "the learned to the lewed," that is, from the literate to the illiterate--how did "lewd" come to mean what it now does?) This reading and quiz are designed to help you learn and remember a foundation text moderns often do not read, but one that sets up crucially important cultural context for the literature we're reading this week and for the rest of the semester. When we get to Chaucer's "Miller's Tale," if you have read Genesis well and remembered it, you will get the full impact of the joke being played on John the carpenter by Nicholas, the wise-guy Oxford student. Also, as you read God's judgment on Adam and Eve, consider the fact that, during the period when Old English or Anglo-Saxon and Middle English were the languages of our literature, all Christians would have ordinarily expected to labor for six days every week of their lives until they became too old or infirm to do so. How has the significance of "labor" changed between this era and ours?
Wednesday 9/3: Transition from Old English to Middle English literature, and from separate tribal kingoms into a single kingdom ruled by a single king. For specific help reading Middle English--Chaucer intro. and Canterbury Tales "General Prologue" (ll. 1-860), and "Truth" (9th ed.pages 344-5) Click here for information about Chaucer's life, especially his relationship to the royal family of England. The "GP" is a complex work of literature masquerading as a trivial introduction. To improve your understanding of how it works, read the whole prologue once straight through, and then reread one of the pilgrim portraits carefully, so that you become a specialist in that pilgrim as the narrator describes her/him. For an explanation of why I usually refer to the GP speaker "Chaucer-the-Pilgrim" and not Geoffrey Chaucer, see the critical term glossary entries for persona/ae and implied narrator. To access sound files you can use to teach yourself Middle English, click here for Larry D. Benson's Harvard University Chaucer Seminar site. Click here for a short written description of how to pronounce Middle English vowels and consonants: M.E. phonology. Terms of art: stanza, rhyming couplet, rhyme scheme, balade, estates satire, frame narrative, implied narrator, persona/ae Especially pay attention to the concepts of rhyme scheme and stanza structure--most of the later poetry in English 211 will make use of them. Web page for today's class.
Friday 9/5: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, KT summary and "Miller's Prologue and Tale" (lines 1-746). Terms of art: fabliau, parody, plot, flat and round characters
By this Friday, you should be prepared to sign up for an in-class performance and analysis of a portion of one class's reading.
Monday 9/8: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, "Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale" (lines 1-1270). Terms of art: romance, autobiography, anti-feminism, realism To see the Luminarium.org Web page containing an image of the Wife of Bath's tale's illustration from the Ellesmere Manuscript, which is stored in a nitrogen-filled case at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, click here.
Wednesday 9/10: Everyman (9th ed. pages 507-29). Terms of art: personification allegory, moralities and mysteries (as dramatic genres), dramatic irony Click here for help understanding how Everyman's dramatic tradition relates to (or is opposed to!) Chaucer's elite, courtly narratives.
Friday 9/12: Julian of Norwich (9th ed. pages 412-24) and Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (9th ed. pages 424-38). Terms of art: mysticism, literacy, book (pre-printing definition--see the Oxford English Dictionary for its German origin), anchoress Web page with some issues for today's discussion.
First Stage of the "Getting to
Know Some Old Things Very Well" Project--optional extra credit work in Special
Collections: MS to Print, Editing Chaucer, from Medieval (1478) to Renaissance
(1598) to Modern (1721)
Monday 9/15: "Sixteenth Century" background (9th ed. pages 531-63) and Sir Thomas More, Utopia (9th ed. pages 569-645). Terms of art: utopia/utopian, dystopia/dystopian, speculative fiction, travel narrative Web page with some issues for today's discussion.
Wednesday 9/17: Sir Thomas Hoby (English translator) & Baldassari Castiglioni (Italian author), The Courtier or Il Cortegiano. Terms of art: Neoplatonism, Rensaissance "self-fashioning" (also a book title), Renaissance, Machiavelli's The Prince
Friday 9/19: Start of literature originally written in Early Modern English--Please read this web page for guidance for the rest of the course readings! Sir Thomas Wyatt & Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (all the poems). Terms of art: translation, imitation, sonnet, iambic pentameter, octave & sestet, "Italian" sonnet, verse epistle and epistolary satire, Petrarchan conceit If rhyming poetry is something you never have studied formally before, click here for some basic rules for how to read a poem.
What time is it in sonnets? England's First Sonneteers, and Teachers of Sonnet Writing (1503-1557--"Wyatt to Tottel")
Monday 9/22: Start of "Elizabethan literature" written in Early Modern English during the reign of Elizabeth I Tudor (lived from 1533 to 1603, queen from 1558-1603). If you have an hour to spend listening to an attempt to recreate the soundscape of Elizabethan England, starting from what C21 England sounds like, click here. [National Punctuation Day (9/24)!] Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophil and Stella (all the poems) Terms of art: stanzaic narrative, irony, stoicism, "English" sonnet, quatrain, couplet, anti-Petrarchanism
Wednesday 9/24: Edmund Spenser, Amoretti and "Epithalamion" (all the poems). Terms of art: Spenserian sonnet, "concatenated" or chained rhyme, epithalamion, prothalamion
Friday 9/26: Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (essay on Marlowe, essay on the play, play prologue and scenes 1-5). Terms of art: dramatic tragedy, act/scene, subplot, blank verse, psychomachia, metadrama
Monday 9/29: Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (scenes 6-13, 1041-57). Terms of art: despair (Christian sin), the Seven Deadly Sins, apostrophe (rhetorical, not punctuation mark never used properly anymore), soliloquy, time compression Click here for a general observation on Marlowe's style and special concerns as a dramatist.
Wednesday 10/1: William Shakespeare, King Lear (essay and Acts 1 & 2, 1139-1180. Note--clicking on any day's assignment for King Lear will take you to the same web page.) You have a wide variety of alternative ways to encounter this play if the Norton seems inadequate. Unfortunately, Web links to digital files tend to become inoperative within a year ot two of my making them permanent here. Search YouTube for performances by professional actors like Sir Lawrence Olivier. If digital surrogates of early printed books seem insubstantial and their interfaces cranky, you can read the play in Goucher's copy of the 1685 "Fourth Folio" edition of Shakespeare's plays. Click here for a list of Shakespeare's plays in a reconstruction of their probable order of composition. Terms of art: thematic repetition, Machiavel, stage whisper, man/microcosm
Friday 10/3: William Shakespeare, King Lear (Acts 3, 4, & 5, 1180-1227) Also, by this Friday, if you are not taking or have not already taken English 200, you must make an appointment with either Jim Huff or Liz DeCoster of the library staff to receive some one-on-one or small group instruction in the use of the MLA Bibliography and the LION database. Click here to learn more about this requirement. If you never have written literary analysis before, read "The Dream of the Text" and talk to me. Click here for some issues related to the early performances of King Lear and our perception of comedy or tragedy.
Monday 10/6: William Shakespeare, Biographical essay and Sonnets (1058-77). Terms of art: Shakespearian sonnet, "ruins of time" motif, hyperbole Web page. Review the notion of poetic "persona" in lyrics and drama, and think about what this means for biographical readings of the sonnets as Shakespeare's personal beliefs and feelings.
Wednesday 10/8 Mary Herbert, countess of Pembroke (all lyric poems), and Queen Elizabeth I (lyric poems, letters, and speeches, especially the works indicated on her web page). [NOTE: Each author has her own web page!] Terms of art: poulter's measure, dramatic interlude, copia, Ramist rhetoric, the Armada Year Click here for a modern critical perspective on reading early women writers' work.
Friday 10/10 Amelia Lanyer, "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women" and "The Description of Cooke-ham," Lady Mary Wroth (all lyrics), Wroth and Lanyer are the first poets we have read who fit the formal description of “feminist poets” in that they both address an audience of female readers, and they specifically write about women’s position in life and in literature. Chaucer’s “Wife of Bath” is hedged about with potential and actual satire of her positions, but neither Lanyer nor Wroth is less than passionately direct about her assertions. Lanyer, in particular, attempts a particularly daring reinterpretation of the foundation narrative in Genesis in a manner that should remind us of Margery Kempe’s reading of Luke’s “woman in the crowd” passage and of Julian of Norwich’s interpretation of God as having a nurturing female aspect. Wroth and Lanyer are contemporaries of Shakespeare and Jonson, and both publish their works, under their own names (!). Keep them in mind when reading that later, male poet’s reinterpretation of Genesis, which he called Paradise Lost.Terms of art: foundation narratives, "immasculation" and "the Resisting Reader" (Judith Fetterly), gender roles and literature "doing cultural work."
Week 8 C16-17 Authors in Time: Who Was Alive When, and What Was Published in their Lifetimes?
Monday 10/13: Sir Philip Sidney, The Defense of Poesie (953-74). Terms of art: literary theory, aristotelianism, Horace' Ars poetica, Puritan/"Precisionist," vates, maker
Monday (afternoon) or Tuesday (morning): Midterm Exam Review Session(s), time and number depending on your availability and interest. Click here for some study tips. Click here for a short overview of the practice of canon formation and the critique of canon formation, which the exam ultimately is designed to enable you to describe and understand. If you cannot take the exam on the day it scheduled, please see me to work out an alternative.
Wednesday 10/15: Midterm Exam--Medieval to Early Renaissance Literature. Click here for some study tips. The examination will be held in our regularly scheduled classroom at the regularly scheduled time.
Thursday, 10/16: FIRST PAPER DUE by 5 PM in an email to me as an attached Word or RTF file--MAXIMUM LENGTH, 3 PAGES OF TEXT EXCLUDING NOTES AND "WORKS CITED" SECTION. The paper's primary source must be a work we read before the midterm exam. See the "Required Graded Work" page linked to the home page menu. If this your first attempt to write a college-level literary analysis paper? If this is your first, be aware that this genre of writing differs enormously from what usually is taught in high school as a "research paper" or "book report." Avoid common errors such as mistaking plot summary for analysis, or assembling previous scholarly opinion rather than writing about original thinking that uses research to solve problems. Make sure you create a document that works like and looks like a college-level literary analysis. Read these linked tip sheets for first-time writers and ask me if you have questions. You also can read examples of successful midterm papers in my office. Click here for a description of the Introduction, Body, and Conclusion of a typical literary analysis based on typical questions academic readers ask in the order in which they typically ask them. Click here for the criteria I will use to evaluate the midterm papers, and click here for a checklist of obvious things you should look for when proofreading the final draft. Click here for the English 211 Style Sheet, including a shorter version of the MLA format for Works Cited citations. I welcome preliminary drafts or emails about your thesis.
Friday 10/18:to Sunday 10/19: MIDSEMESTER HOLIDAY
Monday 10/20: "Early Seventeenth Century English Literature and Cultual Change" (1235-59 8th ed. / 1341-69 9th ed.), Literature assignments: Two lyrics and a prose sales pitch from a nobleman to his queen/banker--Marlowe, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love," (1022 8th ed. / 1126 9th ed.); Ralegh, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd," "The Lie" and "The discovery of...Guiana" (917-18, 919-21, and 923-26 8th ed. / 1024-33 9th ed.),; an early printed "blog" attacking Charles I's decision to attack France instead of preparing for a Spanish attack--The spyte of Spaine, OR A thankefull remembrance of GODS Mercie in Britanes [d]eliuerie from the Spanish Armado. 1588. (Anonymous, Edinburgh: The Heirs of Andro Hart, 1628). (Note: The most complete surviving copy of Spyte is in Goucher's James W. Bright Collection in Rare Books [4th floor, Athenaeum]. The web link connects to a "diplomatic transcription" that preserves the Early Modern spelling. In 1622, Nathaniel Butter had begun publishing the first London "news paper," and Spyte appears to be an early Edinburgh response to the public's appetite for political opinion on the hottest news of the day. Click here to view the broadsheet [single page] copy of the 24 January 1688 issue of the London Gazette.) Terms of art: satire, propaganda, colonialism/imperialism, pastoral poetry.
Wednesday 10/22: Ben Jonson, Volpone, Acts I & II. Terms of art: aube/aubade, parasite/patron, type-character, Old Comedy vs. New Comedy
Friday 10/25: Ben Jonson, Volpone, Acts III, IV, V. Terms of art: moral center, farce, the Grand Tour
Week 10 Second Stage of the "Getting to Know Some Old Things Very Well" Project--optional extra credit work in Special Collections: Medieval to Renaissance receptions of Chaucer and English legendary history
Monday 10/27: Robert Herrick (all lyric poems). Terms of art: the Sons of Ben, "wild civility," paradox, carpe diem
Wednesday 10/29: John Donne, Songs and Sonnets (all the secular lyrics), Holy Sonnets and other sacred poetry and prose (the "Holy Sonnets" and the three "Devotions" excerpts). tetrameter, trimeter, dimeter, monometer, metaphysical poetry
Friday 10/31: George Herbert (all the lyric poems) shaped poems, baroque style Note that you have a long reading due for Monday and Wednesday of next week, so if you have time you should read ahead. Herbert is dealing with religious subjects, like Milton, but Milton's style and ambitions stand in stark contrast with his. Can you describe and explain what kinds of issues Herbert treats with lyric poems and the subjects of Milton's epic? This is an excellent opportunity to experience the importance of "genre" or poetic form as it sets readers' expectations for what "a work of literature" should be and do.
All Saint's Day (November 1), and its predecessor, All Hallowes Eve (October 31), are commonly associated with supernatural phenomena in the English literary tradition. For an image to inspire your Halloween reading, click here.
Monday 11/3: John Milton, Paradise Lost, opening biographical essay and Books I and II. Terms of art: metaphysical conceit, Cavalier poets, : miltonic syntax, epic simile, "anxiety of influence" (also book title), epic tradition, epic.
Wednesday 11/5: John Milton, Paradise Lost, Books IV, IX, and XII. Click here for an important corrective passage from Book III which just might prevent you from mistaking Satan for Milton's hero.
Friday 11/7: Andrew Marvell (the shorter lyrics an "Upon Nun-Appleton House"). metaphysical conceit, Cavalier poets.
Monday 11/10: Literature in Modern English--Lady Anne Halkett, The Memoirs (1764-67 /1874-7 9th ed ); Lucy Hutchinson, "Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson" (1757-60 8th ed. / 1868-709th ed..). Terms of art: memoir. "Restoration and Eighteenth Century" background (2045-70). Parliamentarians vs. Royalists: Testing Literary Style for Traces of Social and Political Beliefs Note that you have a long reading due Wednesday and Friday, so if you have time you should read ahead. Want a more challenging context for this week's readings? Try reading the stories in an edition of the "broadsheet" (single-page) London newspaper of this era: the London Gazette, 24 January 1688
Wednesday 11/12: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, (2313-2334 to the arrival in Surinam at "Possessed of a thousand thoughts of past joys"). Terms of art: novel, autobiography, biography, polemic, genre-bending. narrative fiction before the novel
Friday 11/14: Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, second half (2334-2358). Terms of art: novel, biography, polemic, genre-bending, narrative fiction before the novel+a medieval surprise
Monday 11/17: Mary Astell, Some Reflections Upon Marriage (2420-23), and short lyrics by three Cavalier poets who were popular when Astell was writing--click on the previous hyperlink for the Web page to support their part of the discussion, and later see the use of Waller and Suckling by Congreve in The Way of the World, our last scheduled reading: Edmund Waller, "The Story of Phoebus and Daphne Applied," (U. Toronto) Sir John Suckling, "I prithee spare me gentle boy" (Luminarium); and Richard Lovelace, "To Lucasta, Going to the Wars," and "To Althea, from Prison" (check the table of contents for the current edition's page numbers for Lovelace's works [and "Lovelace" is pronounced "LOVE-less," which usually does not mean anything except when it's the name of the suitor/seducer/rake pursuing the heroine of Samuel Richardson's great early epistolary novel, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, in 1740]). Terms of art: essay, gender roles, Click here for an explanation of my intentions in clustering together this and other sets of readings from multiple authors.
Wednesday 11/19: John Wilmot, second earl of Rochester (2296-2306). For Anniina Jokinen's Luminarium.org transcription of a selection of Rochester's other poetry, including his translation of "A Passage from Seneca," click here. For Rochester, definitely read "Upon Nothing" and "A Satire against Reason and Mankind." As Chaucer said of the Miller, however, Rochester tells "a churles tale" in his shorter lyrics, so "be avised and put me out of blame if that ye choose amiss." Click here for a way to see both literary satire and literary criticism as subspecies of the same social art, discering judgment practice in literature. Terms of art: verse satire, pornography, obscenity, materialism, skepticism, atheism, deism
Friday 11/21: John Dryden, Mac Flecnoe (2236-42), excerpt from "Annus Mirabilis" (2010-11) and criticism selections (2251-59). Click here for a way to see both literary satire and literary criticism as subspecies of the same social art, discering judgment practice in literature. Terms of art: verse satire, prescriptive criticism, classicism.
Monday 11/24: Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal" and "Description of a City Shower" (2633-2638 and 2446). Matthew Prior (2440) Terms of art: verse satire, vers de societe, Gresham's Law, the "Irish problem," bourgeois culture, "leisure" and the emergence of a "middle class." [Note two of Prior's short poems also have to be read online--see the hyperlinks on the Web page.]
Wednesday 11/26 through Sunday 11/30--THANKSGIVING VACATION. While you're relaxing, your mind is in an excellent state to begin thinking about a final paper topic and to try on some possible thesis ideas. Why not send me an email asking for some feedback? Couldn't hurt, eh? Click here for some ways to think about papers dealing with the literature of the second half of the semester.
Monday 12/1: Anne Finch, countess of Winchilsea (2431-34); Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (2759-63); Note that each has her/his own web page! Terms of art: vers de societe, nocturne, silencing [Note: Montagu's "The Lover, A Ballad" is hyperlinked to the Web page and was cut in the shift from the eight to the ninth edition of the Norton.]
Wednesday 12/3: William Congreve, The Way of the World (introductory essay and Acts I & II,). Terms of art: Restoration drama, rake, city man/woman Acts I and II performance passages.
Friday 12/5: William Congreve, The Way of the World (Acts III, IV and V--2248-84). Terms of art: stichomythia, low norm satire Acts III, IV, and V performance passages. FINAL EXAM REVIEW. (See below for supporting Web pages.) If we have time, the review could extend to a broader discussion of course and its relation to "Pope to Eliot" (English 212), "Critical Methods" (English 215), "Medieval Literature" (English 240 in Spring 2014), and the Chaucer seminar (English 330 in Spring 2015).
Final Exam Review Pages: Because we have many more authors and works in the second half of the semester, the exam is divided into three parts. Click here for the instructions for all three parts. Click here for a Final Exam Review Study Aid to group authors by genres and by issues. Click here for a Final Exam Review Study Aid that lists authors and works by order of the authors' birth year.
Please remember to fill out the online English 211 course evaluation form. Thanks!
SECOND PAPER DUE by 9 AM on the Monday of exam week in my Inbox as an attached MS-Word or Rich Text Format (.rft) document. Click here for the English 211 Style Sheet, including a shorter version of the MLA format for Works Cited citations. If you learn well from examples, remember that I have copies of successful English 211 final papers available for reading in my office. Click here for the Final Paper requirements.
Chronological View (Note that the order in which we read these texts is only roughly chronological. Sometimes I have violated chronology to give you more time to read a large work over the weekend, or to cluster together smaller works by authors whose views are relevant to each other's work. The "Chronological View" of the syllabus will help you see when these works were written with respect to each other and their authors' lives, which can be a great help when preparing the final paper.)
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