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    Vassar College
   
 
  Sep 20, 2017
 
 
    
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ENGL 223 - The Founding of English Literature

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)


(Same as MRST 223 ) These courses, ENGL 222  and 223, offer an introduction to British literary history through an exploration of texts from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries in their literary and cultural contexts. ENGL 222  begins with Old English literature and continues through the death of Queen Elizabeth I (1603). ENGL 223 begins with the establishment of Great Britain and continues through the British Civil War and Puritan Interregnum to the Restoration. Critical issues may include discourses of difference (race, religion, gender, social class); tribal, ethnic, and national identities; exploration and colonization; textual transmission and the rise of print culture; authorship and authority. Both courses address the formation and evolution of the British literary canon, and its significance for contemporary English studies.

Topic for 2017/18b: From the Faerie Queene to The Country Wife: Introduction to Early Modern Literature and Culture. This is a thematically organized “issues and methods” course grafted onto a chronologically structured survey course of early modern literature and culture. Its double goal is to develop skills for understanding early modern texts (both the language and the culture) as well as to familiarize students with a representative selection of works from the mid-1500s through the late 1600s. With this two-pronged approach, we will acquire an informed appreciation of the early modern period that may well serve as the basis for pursuing more specialized courses in this field. We explore a great variety of genres and media, including canonical authors such as Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton, but we also attend to less well-known authors, many of them women, through whose writings we can achieve a more nuanced and complex understanding of the times. By paying special attention to correlations between literature and other discourses, as well as to issues of cultural identity and difference based on citizenship, class, ethnicity, gender, geography, nationality, race, and religion, we engage early modern literature and culture in ways that are productive to the understanding of our own culture as well. Zoltán Márkus. 

Please note that ENGL 222  is not a prerequisite for this course; it is open to all students, including freshmen.

Two 75-minute periods.



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