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Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* ENG 381 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Laughter, Vice and Delusion: Satire and Satirists, 1500-1700

Rhodri Lewis

This seminar considers a part of English literary history that is often overlooked: the surge in satirical writing from 1500 to 1700. In it, we will discuss a range of texts--prose, poetry, and drama--that are funny, clever, angry, culturally omniverous, and often foul mouthed. In addition to enjoying ourselves, we will see that satire involves far more than calling out corruption in high places, or mocking the pretensions of snobs, lovers, bad writers, and those trying to make it big. It is also a provocation to laugh, and sometimes to wince, our way to a better understanding of what life and literature are supposed to be about.

Sample reading list:
Desiderius Erasmus, Praise of Folly
Thomas Nashe, The Unfortunate Traveller
John Donne, Satires
Ben Jonson, The Alchemist
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, Satyr Against Reason and Mankind
John Dryden, Mac Flecknoe
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
This course will be assessed on participation in seminar discussion, a midterm paper of 5-7pp, and a final paper of 10-14pp. Approximately 100-150pp of reading per week.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 50%
Class/Precept Participation - 25%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22950 S01 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm T Th   McCosh Hall   34   Enrolled:13 Limit:15