English 113B - Winter, 2016

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Class Information

Instructor: Smith, Kendra
Time: MWF 10:00-10:50
Location: 106 Olson

Description

    In this course, we will read and explore the most well-known of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, his famous 14th-century frame narrative that depicts a disparate group of pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury Cathedral. Along the way, pilgrims tell stories that range from the courtly, to the contemplative, to the unexpectedly bawdy.

    We will examine how selected Tales relate to their tellers, and also to each other within the greater narrative framework. Parallel to Chaucer's work, we will also attend to the work's literary, cultural, social and religious contexts (including aspects of material culture), and how the Tales provided innovation in the areas of genre, poetics, narrative, character and even the English language.

Grading

    Participation 10%
    Quizzes/In-class exercises 10% (including Middle English translations)
    Midterm exam 20%
    Short paper 15%
    Long paper 25%
    Final Exam 20%

Texts

    The Canterbury Tales (Original Middle English Spelling edition), Ed. Jill Mann (Penguin Classics)