English 250 Section TBA
British Literary Tradition
Credit Hours: 3
Course Prerequisites: English 110-112 or English 111-112 with an earned grade of C or higher.
Instructor’s Name: TBA
Instructors Office Address, Email Address, Office Hours, and Office Phone Number: TBA
Textbook and Related Materials:
Greenblatt, Stephen and M.H. Abrams, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 9th ed. New York: Norton, 2012.
[The department permits other standard anthologies such as the Longman Anthology of British Literature.]
British Literary Tradition (3) English literature from Beowulf through the Neoclassic period.
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
[Individual Instructor decisions may vary slightly from section to section, but the emphasis is upon the canon in which the specific ideas noted above can be observed, examined, and analyzed.]
All sections of English 250 will:
Beowulf (The epic in its context)
Selected Old English poetry and prose: The social construction of early history; analysis of heroic Germanic society.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: The romance in its context; Arthur in context.
Geoffrey Chaucer [Selected Canterbury Tales]: The construction of fiction, gender roles, social organization, relations of forms to European and Near Eastern models.
Selected representations of the literature of vision [Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, William Langland]: Mystical vision in context; the role of women in social and religious institutions; literature of social protest and reflection.
More’s Utopia: The construction of social forms, governments, economic systems; the role of satire.
Selected poetry of the period (the sonnet, lyric, epic)
Shakespeare [The selection of the play may differ, but typically a comedy or tragedy.]: Tragedy or comedy in context; the theater as a social, artistic, and economic force; attention to characterization, language, and style; Shakespeare’s role in his day and beyond as a “global writer.”
Selected prose of discovery [Raleigh, Drake, Hariot, etc.]: The literature of exploration in context; critique of value and cultural systems; examination of colonial processes; the construction of ethnicity, race, and gender.
Selected poetry and prose dealing with religion [Donne, Herbert, Hooker, the English Bible, Crashaw, etc.]: The European Reformation and its impact on English religion; the development of a reformed religious language; connections between art and literature.
Selected poetry and prose of classical decorum [Jonson, Bacon, Burton, Hobbes, Phillips, etc]: Relation of literature to classical Greek and Roman models; the development of modern scientific and medical discourse; the development of modern political discourse.
Dryden [Selected poetry and prose]: Satiric form in context; examination of political institutions and human relationships to them; development of an English critical practice differing from continental models.
Behn’s Oronooko: The British colonial enterprise and the role of slavery; the relationship between fact and fiction; the development of a female voice in writing.
Swift: Travel literature in context; satire in context; the exploration of governmental processes; exploration of scientific thought; critique of colonial enterprise [England vs. Ireland].
Pope: Satire in context; the epic and mock heroic form in context; relationship of literature as a force to shape external realities; exploration of philosophical notions of happiness.
Johnson: The philosophical novel in context; the Near Eastern tale and relationship to Johnson’s writing.
Individual sections of the course may differ, but each section will have at least two in-class exams, part of which will include essay writing. In addition, each student will engage in other relevant writing activities. Over the course of the semester, students write at least 10 pages of finished written work outside of exams, focused particularly on literary texts. Finished writing may be done in or outside of class. Some writing may include work with secondary sources.
Students are expected to attend class regularly. Policies regarding class attendance and make up exams will vary with the instructor, but all are within the handbook guidelines. The English Department has adopted the National Writing Project definition of plagiarism.
Any student eligible for and requesting reasonable accommodations due to a disability is required to provide a letter of accommodation from the Student Success Center.
Revised Fall 2016