English 10A-3 - Fall, 2014

Literatures in English I: to 1700

Class Information

Instructor: Aldebol, Kristen
CRN: 42371
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: 207 Olson


    The aim of this course is prepare you for advanced study in English literature. Our focus will be literature written in English before 1700, a period of fascinating historical, political, social, and linguistic transformation. We will read texts from a range of authors and genres that reflect, address, and helped produce these changes. Topics we will consider include: the development of both the English language and literary genres; emerging national identity and England’s relationship to the new world; literature’s role in the status of the monarchy during periods of political growth and unrest; and women’s participation in the literary world. Of paramount importance will be students’ development of skills in reading, discussing, and writing about the literature. Specifically, we will work on three kinds of skills: (1) seeing a big picture by spanning time and surveying the globe to track the emergence, development, and dissemination of the English language and its literatures; (2) focusing carefully on key literary texts and some strategies for interpreting them, or “close reading,” of poetry, prose, and drama; and (3) positioning your interpretation of a literary text in relation to other scholarship on it.

    Required Texts:
    The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume I, 9th edition
    Note: you may get the split edition of A, B, C, ISBN 0393913007 or the single text edition, ISBN 0393912477

    Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, by Seamus Heaney, ISBN 0393320979

    All other reading materials will be available on our class Smartsite.


    This section will tackle the stated goals through tracking how readers (including us) relate to these texts; through in-class discussion; and through application of multiple theoretical approaches to the primary texts we study. Class will consist of lectures, class discussion, quizzes, and group work; work outside of the classroom will consist of two longer papers, graded paragraphs, homework assignments, and reading in preparation for class.


    The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume I, 9th edition
    Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, Seamus Heaney