This course introduces students to British writers from the age of Chaucer through the Restoration. We will consider issues of poetic form in light of the cultural, social, and political climates in which these authors worked. Questions of gender, imperialism, literary authority, and literary periodization will guide our study of Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Amelia Lanyer, John Donne, and John Milton. Classes will be centered on discussion with occasional short lectures. Requirements: 2 short analytical papers, midterm, final, attendance, and participation.