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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

British Literature

english department

English Electives Offered Fall 2017


Fulfills the pre-1700 requirement

The British Isles were home to an exceptionally vibrant early literary tradition spanning English, French, Irish, Latin, and other languages. British writing connected rulers and rebels, merchants and monks, brewers and bureaucrats. This course is a survey of British literature from the beginnings to the early eighteenth century. Most texts are in English; some are read in translation. The course focuses on connections between literature, power, and the formation of literary canons. The survey covers all major genres of early British literature. Texts and authors will include Beowulf, Marie de France, Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Shakespeare, Milton, Aphra Behn, and Swift.

Eric Weiskott

Fulfills the pre-1700 requirement

Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement.

In this course we will read and discuss the poetry of Burns, Blake, Barbauld, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Hemans, Keats, Clare, and Landon. In addition to reading a few essays in literary criticism and theory by the poets themselves, we will consider a variety of critical perspectives, including formalism (the study of poetic and other literary devices and structures) and other approaches, such as feminism and the New Historicism, that bring out the cultural, social, and historical contexts of the poems.

Alan Richardson


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