English 189-4 - Spring, 2021

Seminar in Literary Studies

Topic: Wandering Knights, Errant Detectives

Class Information

Instructor: Vernon, Matthew
CRN: 62145
Time: TR 4:40-6:00
GE Areas: Writing Experience


The quest narrative appears throughout English literature in unexpected places. Over the course of the quarter we will consider the history of the quest in a wide range of forms: medieval romance, Edgar Allan Poe's detective stories, and contemporary speculative fiction. In doing so we will discuss the ways in which the quest narrative transforms and adapts to contemporary issues and the ways in which the Middle Ages continue to influence popular culture.


The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The City We Became
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban