English 189-1 - Spring, 2016

Seminar in Literary Studies

    Topic: Wandering Knights, Errant Detectives

Class Information

Instructor: Vernon, Matthew
CRN: 42621
Time: TR 12:10-1:30
Location: 308 Voorhies


    The quest narrative appears throughout English literature in unexpected places. Over the course of the quarter we will consider the history of the quest in a wide range of forms: medieval romance, the Harry Potter novels, noir films and Edgar Allan Poe’s detective stories. In doing so we will discuss the ways in which the quest narrative transforms and adapts to contemporary issues and the ways in which the Middle Ages continue to influence popular culture.


    Macbeth, William Shakespeare
    The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
    Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
    Detective Stories, Edgar Allan Poe
    The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
    The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
    Arthurian Romances, Chretien de Troyes
    The Road, Cormac McCarthy
    Njal's Saga
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight