Fall 2022 Undergraduate English Courses

358:411 Old English Language and Literature

01   CAC    MTH3    07921    KLEIN   FH-B6

This course is an intensive study of Old English, the language written and spoken in England from approximately 450 to 1100 AD. The goal of the course is to give students the basic skills necessary to read and interpret Old English texts. We will examine a variety of poetic and prose writings, including Old English alliterative shorter poems dealing with exile, gender roles, and early medieval cults of the cross; chronicles and historical narratives designed to construct specific ideas about the past and historical memory; and excerpts from the growing body of vernacular religious writings produced for an early medieval populace that, according to some monks, was becoming increasingly illiterate. Throughout the course, attention will be given to Old English pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, and most of the individual class periods will be devoted to reviewing and discussing translations which students will have prepared at home. Enrolled graduate students will be assigned additional readings and will meet with me individually and in small groups to discuss bibliographic and other resources for pursuing early medieval studies, theoretical approaches to the period’s literature, and their own research interests. 

Requirements: midterm, one medium-length paper (7-8 pp.), attendance, participation, and class presentations.