Fall 2018 Undergraduate English Courses

01  TTH4  CAC  15530  SCANLON  FH-A5

Geoffrey is one of England's earliest poets, and one of its greatest.  This course will focus on his greatest work, the Canterbury Tales.  This collection of tales, supposedly told by a party of pilgrims on the way to Canterbury Cathedral from south London, offer a very lively cross-section of the varieties of medieval storytelling and of the preoccupations of late medieval culture. These range from comic, often obscene, treatments of official corruption and sexual misbehavior to chivalric romance to saint's lives and other devotional narratives and treatises.  We will explore this collection both for its significance within its own culture and for its continuing significance for ours.  That will include the intellectual and historical contexts the stories and assume, and exploring how our understanding be assisted by such critical perspectives from our own time as feminism, postcolonial theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and queer theory. 

Requirements: Regular attendance at class meetings; on-line exercises; two 2-3 pp. papers, one 6-8 pp. paper.

Reading list:  Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales