John C Coldewey
Seminar study of special topics in language and literary study. Limited to honors students majoring in English.
For AUTUMN 2003: Medieval to Renaissance English Literature: From Script to Print, from Orality to Literacy. In this class we will be examining English literature as it evolves out of the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and we will focus on two main cultural events: first, the shift from orality to literacy that began taking place during the Anglo Saxon period; and second, the invention of printing as an important technological agent that supercharged textual production. Early English texts are to an extraordinary degree both witnesses and children of their own age, and as we consider how literary texts evolve out of an oral to a literate culture, and out of a manuscript culture to a print culture, the ground rules of textual production, dissemination, and consumption themselves change. Coursework: Three quizzes (15% each), class discussion (15%), a class presentation (15%), and a 7-11 page paper (25%). 497: honors senior majors only; add codes in English Advising office, A-2B PDL; 497: senior majors only. Texts: Will include the following and perhaps others: Primary: The Battle of Maldon; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale; Malory’s Morte Darthur; various Sonnets from Petrarch to Shakespeare; The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play; The York Play of the Crucifixion; Everyman; Dr. Faustus. Secondary: Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe;. Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy. Michael Camille, Image on the Edge
Class Assignments and Grading