English 189-3 - Spring, 2021

Seminar in Literary Studies

Topic: Old English: Language and Politics

Class Information

Instructor: Chaganti, Seeta
CRN: 62144
Time: MW 10:00-11:20
GE Areas: Writing Experience


This course will introduce students to the Old English language, an early Germanic language spoken in England until the 11th century and the basis for the Modern English we speak today. In its structure, the course will use its online format to advantage by connecting students to interactive digital exercises and other resources integrated with the required textbook. Students will gain a basic knowledge of Old English grammar and vocabulary which they can use to read and translate some of the Old English texts that form a basis for English literary history. The class will set Old English and the study of early England in the context of contemporary politics, exploring current debates around the use of the term "Anglo-Saxon" as well as the ways that early English literary and legal tradition have affected the racialization of American law.


Graded work for this class will include a series of written exercises and responses as well as assessment tests and a final paper.


Peter S. Baker, Introduction to Old English