English 10A - Winter, 2022

Literatures in English I: to 1700

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
Time: TR 9:00-10:20
Location: 146 Olson
GE Areas: Writing Experience


The aim of this course is to prepare you for advanced study in English literature. Our focus will be literature written in English before 1700, a period of fascinating political, religious, social, and linguistic transformation. We will read texts from a range of authors and genres that reflect, address, and helped produce these changes. Topics we will consider include: textual authority and the impact of the new technology of print; religious conflict; discovery, conquest, and the formation of national identity in relation to "new" worlds, imported foods and goods, and indigenous peoples; the changing status of the monarchy; and linguistic change and formal innovations. Of paramount importance will be students' development of skills in reading, discussing, and writing about literature. Specifically, we will work on three kinds of skills: (1) seeing a big picture by spanning time and space to track the emergence, development, and dissemination of the English language and its literatures; (2) focusing carefully on key literary texts and some strategies for interpreting them; and (3) positioning your interpretation of a literary text in relation to other scholarship on it.

All lectures for this class will be in person, unless university policy changes. Required discussion sections will also be in person.

Our main text is a custom textbook that will only be available as physical book through the bookstore or the EA program. The other text is Shakespeare's play TWELFTH NIGHT. I have ordered an affordable paperback edition and encourage you to use that as a break from screen time. It will be easier for you to use the edition I will be using for lectures. This will also be available as an ebook. But you can use any edition of the play you can get.


Ungraded surveys and short writing assignments: 30%
Close Reading Paper: 20%
Research Paper: 30%
Take-Home Final Reflection Narrative: 20%


William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Folger)
Broadview Custom Coursepack