Miceal F Vaughan
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and other poetry, with attention to Chaucer's social, historical, and intellectual milieu.
This course will introduce students to a range of Chaucer's works, focusing particularly on the *Troilus and Criseyde* and selections from *The Canterbury Tales*. We will begin, however, with a couple of his shorter, earlier texts (*Book of the Duchess* and *Parliament of Fowls*) and will take up the *Legend of Good Women* after the *Troilus*.
Geoffrey Chaucer. Dream Visions and Other Poems. Ed. Kathryn L. Lynch. New York: Norton, 2007. [ISBN 978-0-393-92588-3] Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales: Fifteen Tales and the General Prologue. Ed. V. A. Kolve and Glending Olson. Second Edition. New York: Norton, 2005. [ISBN 978-0-393-92587-6] Geoffrey Chaucer. Troilus and Criseyde. Ed. Stephen A. Barney. New York: Norton, 2006. [ISBN 978-0-393-92755-9]
Bisson, Lillian M. Chaucer and the Late Medieval World. New York: Macmillan, 2000. ISBN: 978-0-312-22466-0
Student learning goals
The aims of the course will be to develop students' competence in the reading and understanding Chaucer’s Middle English
so that they can appreciate the variety and liveliness of his poetry.
To help inform the latter, we will look at some of the sources he drew from (and altered) for his narratives;
consider a variety of critical approaches to his works;
and examine aspects of medieval culture which may illuminate his complex social and artistic sensibilities.
General method of instruction
My classroom preference is for discussion, but in its absence (or in attempts to stimulate it) I will resort to (more or less informal) lecturing.
Some previous reading of Chaucer and/or of other medieval texts would be helpful, as would some appreciation of the kinds of changes the English language has undergone in its history.
Class assignments and grading
Requirements for the course will include – in addition to attendance and participation in class discussions – weekly response papers, some translation exercises and quizzes, a few longer (3-5, 5-8 pp.) critical papers, and a final exam.
Quality of work.