English 115 - Fall, 2022

Topics in 16th & 17th Century Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Gray, Jessica Hanselman
CRN: 32090
Time: MWF 3:10-4:00
Location: 118 Olson
GE Areas: World Cultures Writing Experience


Topic: "Ways of Knowing: Mind, Body, and Science in the 16th and 17th centuries"

In this course we will look at 16th- and 17th-century texts from a variety of genres and places, all of which put forth an implicit or explicit argument about how knowledge is, or should be, made. Our primary texts will include early modern poetry, drama, fiction, and expository prose. We will return often to gender as one lens through which to analyze how these texts construct and reflect early modern theories of knowledge, and we will consider both changes and continuities over the period, culminating in a close look at some texts associated with what is often referred to as the "Scientific Revolution."


Homework will include weekly close reading exercises and the creation of a commonplace book over the course of the quarter. We will also work through the steps of researching, writing, workshopping, and revising an argumentative essay.


Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. B
All's Well That Ends Well (Folger Edition), William Shakespeare
Course Reader (Canvas)