English 10A-1 - Winter, 2017

Literatures in English I: to 1700

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
CRN: 22755
Time: TR 1:40-3:00
Location: 140 Physics


    The aim of this course is to prepare you for advanced study in English literature. Our focus will be literature written in English before 1700, a period of fascinating political, religious, 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: textual authority, the impact of the new technology of print, and censorship; religious conflict; discovery, conquest, and the formation of national identity, particularly England’s relationship to Colonial America; the changing status of the monarchy; and linguistic change and formal innovations. 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 the “close reading” of poetry, prose, and drama; and (3) positioning your interpretation of a literary text in relation to other scholarship on it.


    Attendance and Participation: 10%
    Quizzes and Short Writing Assignments: 20%
    Close Reading Paper: 20%
    Research Paper: 30%
    Final Exam: 20%


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