Placed between Classical tradition and Renaissance literature, medieval English literature has its unique beauty and complexity in British literary history. This course introduces 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 changes from Anglo-Saxon England to Anglo-Norman England. After that, we will 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 Canterbury Tales. Finally, this course ends with Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur to explore the Arthurian romances.
To provide students with a chance to know more about academic literary studies, we will teach students how to do a research project and write a research paper step by step in Research Paper Workshops. There is NO midterm or final exam in this course. Quizzes are designed for students to learn the basics. Students need to participate in the forum discussion every week. We will discuss literary issues in selected journal papers in Academic Workshops. Outside the classroom, there will be videos to help students understand literary texts and contexts. Students also need to do a 10-minute group presentation. More details will be explained in the “Guidelines of the Whole Learning Process.”
|This course is an intensive, interactive research-oriented survey course that encompasses significant 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 specific 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.