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Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3800 Medieval British Literature

Section 001       CRN 90805
Medieval British Literature     1200-1250 MWF

The richness and diversity of Anglo-Saxon and Middle English literature is one of the best-kept secrets of literary studies. Often deeply moving, frequently funny, and always fascinating, this eclectic body of work invites sensitive readers to listen for the human voices it conveys. In this class, we will explore a broad sampling of texts ranging from Anglo-Saxon elegies to spiritual writings to medieval romance.   As we consider the social contexts these works are responding to, we’ll be discovering what new insights we can gain about, for example, their social, psychological, political, and spiritual visions. While our exploration of this literature will always include historical context, it will be enriched by the critical practices you bring to the texts, whether this be the indispensable skill of close, attentive reading, or this skill in conjunction with more formalized critical approaches such as psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction and so on. (Group 3A)