English 10A-3 - Winter, 2018

Literatures in English I: to 1700

Class Information

Instructor: Wallis, Christopher J.
CRN: 53007
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 102 Hutchison


This reading- and writing-intensive course introduces students to the study of literatures in English before 1700. Over the quarter, we will examine a range of texts to consider how the English literary landscape reflected, shaped, and even challenged historical, social, and cultural understandings in England and abroad. Topics will include the development of the English language; generic emergence, appropriation, and experimentation; shifting conceptions of love, nationalism, religion, economics, gender, sexuality, and politics; and Colonial America’s role in generating new possibilities for literary production and consumption. By the end of the course, students will have acquired 1) a knowledge of key writers, genres, and historical events; 2) an appreciation of the complex ways that literature engages social/cultural matters; and 3) the confidence to participate in the advanced study of literature—including the ability to effectively express nuanced interpretations in writing and contribute to critical discussions through research.


Attendance, Participation, Reading Quizzes: 15%
Short Writing Exercises: 15%
Formal Papers: 50%
Final Exam: 20%


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed. Winny
The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Coghill
Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. B, 9th edition
The Tempest, Norton Critical Editions, William Shakespeare, ed. Hulme & Sherman
The Convent of Pleasure, Margaret Cavendish, ed. Bowerbank & Mendelson