Introduces literature from the Age of Shakespeare to the American and French Revolutions, focusing on major works that have shaped the development of literary and intellectual traditions in these centuries. Topics include: The Renaissance, religious and political reforms, exploration and colonialism, vernacular cultures, and scientific thought. Offered: AWSpS.
We will read a selection of plays, prose and poetry from the late Middle Ages to the early modern from a social and cultural perspective, examining how issues of contact and conflict are represented in the literature of the time. One of our main topics in the course will be border crossing -- we will interrogate how it provoked narratives of joy and fear, hopes and anxieties regarding ethnic, religious and national identity, empire building and otherness. As we read about strangers outside the realm, we will also attend to strangers within the realm. Readings will draw from Mandeville's The Travels, the anonymous Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Croxton Play of the Sacrament, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Othello and The Tempest, William Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk and Fletcher's Sea-Voyage. The Middle English texts will be read in modern English. Requirements: regular attendance, participation, three short tests, a short paper (3-4 pages), an outline (2-3 pages) and a final paper (6-8 pages long).
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