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Chaucer: Texts and Contexts

ENGL 525.301
R 3-6

In this course we will read Chaucer's major poetry: Troilus and Criseyde, several of his dream visions, and selections from the Canterbury Tales.  These works will be discussed from a variety of literary approaches, such as: medieval manuscript culture, Chaucer's attitude(s) toward his sources and large intellectual tradition(s) (for
example, the conventions of "courtly love" or views about the function of imaginative literature), poetry as a tool of political critique and social change, and feminist or gender criticism.  The aim of this course is, thus, twofold: to give students a solid familiarity with Chaucer's text, and to discuss and test a variety of modern approaches to literature in their application to a major medieval author.  The weekly discussions will require careful preparation of the assigned poetry and some shorter outside readings.  Individual students are expected to introduce or lead the weekly discussions of "contexts."  A decision about required written work and a final exam will be made depending on the composition of the class.

Text: The Riverside Chaucer.

This course is open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor. Of course it can be counted within the concentration.