Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jenny Lee Gonyer-Donohue
ENGL 210
Seattle Campus

Medieval and Early Modern Literature, 400 to 1600

Introduces literature from the Middle Ages and the Age of Shakespeare, focusing on major works that have shaped the development of literary and intellectual traditions of these periods. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This course will survey medieval England's literary tradition and a few of its continental influences/sources from the 8th through the 14th centuries, all while keeping the following sets of questions in mind: What makes early English literature specifically "English"? Is it satisfactory to categorize literature by its location of origin alone? What are we to do with the fact that the literary tradition was constantly shifting, being heavily influenced, and sometimes supplanted altogether, by the literary traditions of non-English visitors/conquerors/missionaries? We will be reading texts that were originally composed in Latin, Old English, Old French, Italian, and Middle English (all but the Middle English in translation, of course). As we examine the cultural and political context of this transnational hodge-podge we call medieval English, we will also discuss how the texts were physically transmitted: the production and dissemination of manuscripts, literacy and readers, and the movement from an oral/aural culture to a literary one. This is a fascinating period in literary history with some very fun texts! Added bonus: the room assigned to us (as of April 12) has air conditioning. Huzzah!

English majors: this course satisfies the pre-1900 requirement.

Textbook: The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 1A: The Middle Ages (4th Edition).

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jenny Lee Gonyer-Donohue
Date: 04/16/2010