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Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3801 - Chaucer

Section 001       CRN 31626
Chaucer     1100-1215 TR

Hailed by John Dryden in 1700 as the “Father of English Poetry,” Chaucer is still celebrated as the greatest of the medieval English poets. In fact, some critics find his work so self-aware, so perceptive, so invested in his characters’ humanity that they prefer to consider him a Renaissance, rather than a medieval, writer and thinker. One project of this course will be to consider Chaucer’s relation to his literary and social (to his medieval) contexts in order to ask how he responds to them; in what ways is he commenting on, manipulating, revising, and reflecting his world? As we ask these questions, examining Chaucer as an agent of his ideas, we will also be thinking about the poems as their own agents. Do these poems speak in ways that move beyond authorial intent? What do they say and how do they say it? All critical perspectives are welcome as we explore the rich and complex world of Chaucer’s imagination. (Group 3D)