English 10A-2 - Winter, 2018

Literatures in English I: to 1700

Class Information

Instructor: Connally, Kenneth
CRN: 53006
Time: MWF 2:10-3:00
Location: 1344 Storer


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 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: censorship and textual authority; national identity and England’s relationship to Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and especially Colonial America; the status of the monarchy during periods of political unrest; 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.


Quizzes: 10%
Midterm: 15%
Final Exam: 15%
Short Writing Assignments: 15%
Close Reading Essay: 20%
Research Essay: 25%


The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Vol. 1
Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Vol. 2
Course Reader (at Davis Copy Max)