English 189-1 - Winter, 2019

Seminar in Literary Studies

    Topic: Pirate/Hood/Traitor/Witch: Renaissance Specters in Popular Culture

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
CRN: 33309
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
Location: 248 Voorhies


    In this seminar, we will study figures from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England that continue to haunt the popular imagination. The reading load will be reasonably heavy but widely varied. We will alternate between reading plays, ballads, and other texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and recent novels, focusing on how and why writers now appropriate, repurpose, and reinvent the figures and histories they inherit from the past. Presentations and writing assignments will focus on developing participants' research skills and creativity.


    Student preparation and participation will be crucial to the seminar's success (30% of the grade total). Students will regularly kick off discussion and give presentations; quizzes will motivate keeping up with the reading. There will also be some short research exercises and a final research paper, as well as a final exam.


    Arden of Faversham
    Macbeth, Shakespeare, William/ed. Mowat
    Taming of the Shrew: Texts and Contexts, Shakespeare, William/ed. Dolan
    V for Vendetta, Alan Moore
    Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
    Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness
    Shadows of Sherwood, Kekla Magoon