Spring 2018 Undergraduate English Courses: Medieval

358:306 Chaucer

01  MTH3  CAC  11780  STERN  HH-B5

Why do we still read Chaucer? What relevance can he have for us as readers today? After more than 600 years of historical distance, these questions are surely worth exploring. Chaucer's work frequently addresses topics we might deem "modern": adultery, gender and sexuality, national and communal identities, the nature of fame, and more! Chaucer can be at once frustrating and enjoyable, markedly medieval and surprisingly modern, hilariously lewd and deadly serious. Through this course, students will gain nuanced insights into social and literary concerns of the later middle ages; contemplate questions about language, authorship, and our relation to the medieval past; and delight in the weird pleasures of reading Middle English. Assignments include two papers, an exam, and occasional reading quizzes.