Introduction to the literature of the Middle Ages set against the backdrop of medieval culture.
What is the Age of King Arthur? Legends of King Arthur, Excalibur, Merlin, the Holy Grail, and Camelot have persisted from their medieval origins into our contemporary culture. In this introductory English course, we will read Arthurian literature in translation from French, German, Welsh, Latin, and Middle English. We will also read a few short works in Middle English and look at examples of medieval visual art and artifacts that can deepen our understanding of the world of early, high, and late medieval English literature. Students will develop familiarity with landmarks of Arthurian literature and learn the historical, socio-linguistic, and cultural contexts of their production. Requirements include: participation, quizzes, two papers, and an individual research project.
Arts & Letters (A&L) courses create meaningful opportunities for students to engage actively in the modes of inquiry that define a discipline. Courses are broad in scope and demonstrably liberal in nature (that is, courses that promote open inquiry from a variety of perspectives). Though some courses may focus on specialized subjects or approaches, there will be a substantial course content locating that subject in the broader context of the major issues of the discipline. Qualifying courses will not focus on teaching basic skills but will require the application or engagement of those skills through analysis and interpretation.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience. Major II students can also use one lower-division elective to fulfill the Writing Requirement with ENG 209 The Craft of the Sentence.
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.