ENG534 201803 Graduate

Spring 2019
ENG 534
Applies To: 
Spenser (Prior Approval Needed for ENG Grads)

Brent Dawson

Brent Dawson profile picture
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-3962
  • Office: 473 PLC
  • Office Hours: S20 W 1-4 remote
Department Section Description: 

Spenser claims the goal of his epic, The Faerie Queene, is “to fashion a gentleman”—that is, to make a person from a poem. What would it mean to think of reading as an exercise in self-creation? The Faerie Queene explores these questions through its knightly protagonists, including: an inexperienced young man destined to become St. George, and a female warrior who searches for a lover she has met only in a dream. Reading forms an integral component of these knights’ quests as they strive to interpret the illusions of a shape-shifting wizard, the enigmatic words of speaking trees, and the actions of living embodiments of virtues and passions. These practices of self-creation have implications for issues of gender, sexuality, social agency, and the human relation to the non-human world that this course will explore.