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Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
* ENG 311 / MED 309 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

The Medieval Period

Donald Vance Smith

Who am I? Or, rather, "Who is 'I'?" The invention of the "meta" text, the untrustworthy narrator, the intimate or embarrassing confession, even the invention of the self: these have all been used to describe what makes the modern different from the medieval. This course will read some of the most important medieval texts to explore the question of whether there was a self, an "I," a subject, a person, or an author in the Middle Ages, and how it differs, or doesn't, from what I am, or you are, now.

Sample reading list:
The Pearl-Poet, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The Pearl-Poet, Pearl
Geoffrey Chaucer, The House of Fame and The Book of the Duchess
Julian of Norwich, Revelation of Divine Love
James VI, The Kingis Quair
Anonymous, The Awntyrs of Arthur
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Readings will include excerpts from Augustine's Confessions, Petrarch's sonnets, Dante's Vita Nuova; several important romances, from stately to strange; lyrics; dream visions; records of mystical experience; cranky complaints to governments; meditations on dying; expressions of intense devotion and/or love. No knowledge of any language other than modern English necessary. Grading - Other 25% will consist of two written exercises.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%
Other (See Instructor) - 25%

Other information:
ENG Major Distribution Area: British

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
41816 S01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm T Th        Enrolled:7 Limit:15