Placed between the classical tradition and the Renaissance literature, medieval English literature has its own unique beauty and complexity in British literary history. This course is designed to introduce major works in medieval England, approximately from the fifth century to the fifteenth century. We will proceed in several forms: lectures, small group discussions, Research Workshops, and Academic Workshops. Each literary work will be read, analyzed, and discussed with its own cultural, social, and historical context. This course firstly discusses Old English works, from Bede to Beowulf. Then we read Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain, a twelfth-century Latin chronicle, to see the change from Anglo-Saxon England to Anglo-Norman England. After that, we spend some time on Middle English, and read some of the most famous medieval English works, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Finally, this course ends with Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur to explore the Arthurian romances.
In order to provide students with a chance to know more about academic literary studies, we will teach students how to do research and write a research paper step by step [that is, Research Paper Workshops]. There is NO midterm or final exam in this course. Worksheets and Quizzes are designed for students to learn the basics. Academic Workshops are designed to discuss literary issues in selected journal papers. Outside the classroom, there will be videos online to help students understand the literary texts and prepare for the class. Students need to do a 10-minute group presentation. More details will be explained in the “Guidelines of the Whole Learning Process”.
|This course is designed as an intensive, interactive research-oriented survey course which encompasses major prose and poetry of English writers from the Anglo-Saxon period through the end of the fifteenth century. By focusing on canonical works during this period, this course aims to lead students to understand the ideas and literary genres that define this period with certain knowledge of medieval society and culture. At the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Understand how medieval ideas of literature differ from modern notions of literature.
2. Analyze important themes and motives in medieval English works.
3. Approach medieval English works historically, textually, and critically.
4. Understand and read aloud Middle English confidently.