English 10A - Winter, 2020

Literatures in English I: to 1700

Class Information

Instructor: Werth, Tiffany
Time: MWF 11:00-11:50
Location: 26 Wellman


    Premodern England: Gods, monsters, marvels, humans, and the natural world

    Course Description:

    The aim of this course is to introduce you to the strange, worldly- and other-worldly deep history of English literature to prepare you for advanced study. We will focus on literature written in English prior to 1700. Covering a wide range of texts--religious polemic, poetry, drama, travel narratives, and prose fiction--we will explore the "strangeness" of premodern England: a world that is simultaneously familiar and unsettling in its difference from our own twenty-first century Pacific West Coast perspective. Religious reform, explosive mercantile growth, new world contact, catastrophic disease, the persistent threat of the Islamic Ottoman empire, as well as new technologies such as the printing press and the telescope, transformed how people understood the world around them, how they lived, loved, died, and how they wrote.

    Of central importance as we read will be the development of the following skill set:

    Critical Skill Objectives
    Close reading and analysis
    Reading and identifying premodern poetic and prose forms
    Effectively researching in a range of historical databases
    Summarizing and critiquing secondary criticism
    Forming logically coherent arguments in response to given research topics
    Identifying, summarizing, and interpreting the formal and cultural significance of textual passages


    Course Requirements:

    Lecture & Tutorial Attendance 5%
    In Class Engagement Exercises via Top Hat 10%
    Pop Reading Quizzes
    (6 weekly quizzes with lowest score dropped) 10%
    Literary Term & Close Reading Essay
    (3-4 pp) 20%
    Critical Research essay (6-8 pp) 30%
    Final Exam 25%


    Custom Textbook from Broadview Press
    They Say I Say, Edited by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein