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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

British Literature

english department

English Electives Offered Spring 2018

 

ENGL2171 Introduction to British Literature and Culture II (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

This lecture course explores great British writers from 1700 to the present. This period includes (among much else) the great essayists and satirists of the eighteenth century, the Romantic poets and Victorian novelists of the nineteenth, the modernists of the twentieth, and the world writing that follows the break-up of the British empire. We consider these works in light of the cultural context in which they were written.

John Anderson

ENGL3204 London: A History in Verse (Spring:3.0)

This course aims to explore, and to enhance pleasure in, poems that span about six centuries of urban experience in one of the world’s great cities. (For counterpoint, there will be intermittent forays into the country by way of the occasional pastoral poem.) You can count on glimpses of the bridges and the River; famous buildings and infamous districts; the Underground, crowded streets, even the inner workings of some lonely poet’s mind. The city’s conspicuous and hidden history, far from precluding a plunge into the present and robust curiosity about the city’s future, will also inform our experience with contemporary poetry and song.

Dayton Haskin

ENGL3331 Victorian Inequality (Spring:3.0)

Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement.

From “Dickensian” workhouses to shady financiers, Victorian literature has provided touchstones for discussions of inequality today. This course will investigate how writers responded to the experience of inequality in Victorian Britain during an era of revolution and reaction, industrialization and urbanization, and empire building. Considering multiple axes of inequality, we will explore topics such as poverty and class conflict, social mobility, urbanization, gender, education, Empire, and labor. We will read novels, poetry, and nonfiction prose; authors include Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Elizabeth Gaskell; Charles Dickens; Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Mary Prince; Arthur Morrison; and Thomas Hardy.

Aeron Hunt

ENGL4003 Shakespeare and Performance (Spring:3.0)

Fulfills pre-1700 requirement

Although Shakespeare became “Literature,” people originally encountered Shakespeare’s plays as popular entertainment rather than as literary texts. In this course, we will examine Shakespeare through the lens of performance, looking at how several of his key plays were produced in their own time and how they have been subsequently reimagined on stage and screen. As part of this re-examination, we will rehearse and perform scenes in small groups, as well as invent our own Shakespeare adaptations and attend a local production (if available). No previous performance experience or familiarity with Shakespeare is required, but enthusiasm is welcome.

Andrew Sofer

ENGL4003 Shakespeare and Performance (Spring:3.0)

Fulfills pre-1700 requirement
Although Shakespeare became “Literature,” people originally encountered Shakespeare’s plays as popular entertainment rather than as literary texts. In this course, we will examine Shakespeare through the lens of performance, looking at how several of his key plays were produced in their own time and how they have been subsequently reimagined on stage and screen. As part of this re-examination, we will rehearse and perform scenes in small groups, as well as invent our own Shakespeare adaptations and attend a local production (if available). No previous performance experience or familiarity with Shakespeare is required, but enthusiasm is welcome.
Andrew Sofer

ENGL4424 Middle English Alliterative Poetry (Spring:3.0)

Fulfills the Pre-1700 Requirement

In the fourteenth century, there were two ways of writing poetry in English. Chaucer’s rhyming, syllable-counting iambic pentameter exemplifies one tradition. This course makes a survey of the other tradition, known today as alliterative poetry. Among the poems we will read are tales of King Arthur’s court, the story of a resurrected corpse discovered in London, and a wild allegorical dream-vision starring such characters as Bribery and Truth. We ask how this poetry is formally organized, where this form of writing comes from, and why medieval English writers chose to use it. No prior knowledge of Middle English required.

Eric Weiskott

 

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