B-Literature 1500-1789

Literature, 1500-1789 courses focus on writings during the period of European exploration and colonization -- from the early English Renaissance to the late eighteenth-century -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history.  Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.  The study of early periods in particular sensitizes readers to historical transformations of the language itself.

16694

Sayre, Gordon

English 461 is an introduction to the literature of colonial North America and the Early United States, from the 1530s to the 1820s. This course is designed around four feature films: Cabeza de Vaca, Black Robe, Pocahontas, and Jefferson in Paris. These movies were based on the... (read more)

17059

Bovilsky, Lara

In this course we will read Macbeth, King Lear, Coriolanus, and Antony and Cleopatra to think about how they represent cultural crisis at every scale: the large scale of a society, country, city-state, or empire in turmoil, the small scale of individual errors,... (read more)

35789

Bohls, Elizabeth

Travel, or the journey, is often conceptualized in relation to home as the point of departure and return: in Homer’s Odyssey, the hero wanders as his wife waits faithfully in Ithaca. These gendered roles—man as traveler, woman as homebody—reflect age-old assumptions about travel. But... (read more)

35826

Bergquist, Carolyn

Shakespeare Page and Stage (ENG 352) explores Shakespeare’s play texts as a basis for a production on stage. We will use our own close analyses of Shakespeare’s sentences, the play’s structural components, and our own informed imaginations to create character, scene, and image maps of Macbeth... (read more)

35827

Saunders, Ben

In the England of 1601, the disciplines of politics, philosophy, science, medicine, law, and literature were all to some degree subsumed by the master discourse of religion.  But by 1701, the human and the natural sciences had begun to emerge in something like their modern forms, while (at least... (read more)

22076

Dawson, Brent

Students in “Shakespeare’s World” learn to read Shakespeare’s works in relation to the cultural, literary, and historical contexts in which he wrote. This can be a first course in Shakespeare (no prerequisites). In Winter 2021, students will read Hamlet in relation to earlier revenge... (read more)

37144

Bohls, Elizabeth

How many novelists have you heard of who wrote before Jane Austen? By Austen’s day—the early 19th century—the English novel had come into its own, following roughly a... (read more)

22238

Bohls, Elizabeth

Travel, or the journey, is often conceptualized in relation to home as the point of departure and return: in Homer’s Odyssey,... (read more)

26558

Bovilsky, Lara

Students in “Shakespeare’s World” learn to read Shakespeare’s works in relation to the cultural, literary, and historical contexts in... (read more)

26568

Dawson, Brent

This interdisciplinary course looks at how ideas of nature and the natural world shape early modern understandings of the Americas.... (read more)

12124

Bohls, Elizabeth

The Rise of the Novel

How many novelists have you heard of who wrote before Jane Austen? By Austen’s day—the... (read more)

32012

Dugaw, Dianne

Major British Writers: Aphra Behn is an examination of this important writer who dominated London theatre in the 1670s, invented the English novel, translated philosophic and... (read more)

36168

Dawson, Brent

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... (read more)

36172

Sayre, Gordon

English 461 is an introduction to the literature of colonial America and the Early Republic. It satisfies the Literature: 1500-1789 requirement in the English... (read more)

23087

Dugaw, Dianne

This course traces ethnicity, cultural interaction, and forms of folkloristic expression in the British Isles and Ireland. Britain and Ireland possess a... (read more)

27067

Dawson, Brent

Students in this course will closely read Shakespeare’s plays and poems, attending to Shakespeare’s rich language, nuanced characters, and persistent... (read more)

16081

Brundan, Katherine

This course circulates through the world of the novel by taking a slightly unusual perspective: that of subjects and objects. When the novel emerged in eighteenth-century England, “novels increased more than tea,” as Franco Moretti explains. Novels were the product of a commercial and leisured... (read more)

32025

Bohls, Elizabeth

The novel as we know it today did not exist until the early nineteenth century, the end point of this course. Before then, fictional prose narratives circulated in Britain under various labels, including “romance,” “history,” “true history” or “secret history,” as well as “novel.” Moreover, the... (read more)

26834

Brundan, Katherine

The English Novel: Subject, Object and Abject

This course circulates through the world of the novel by taking a slightly unusual perspective: that of subjects and objects. The rise of the novel goes hand-in-hand with a focus on objects and commodities that help construct the subject as a... (read more)

26850

Bovilsky, Lara

Participating in the political revolution, religious ferment, and literary experimentation of his time, the poetry and prose of John Milton offer us fascinating and beautiful examples of the engagement of literature with real-world political and ethical crises. This work may resonate with... (read more)

27212

Dugaw, Dianne

The complex cultural history of Great Britain and Ireland is the focus of this course. We study folk and popular traditions that are current or have been collected in this region, particularly noting how these influence art, literature, history, and socio-political institutions as well as... (read more)

27587

Dawson, Brent

Examines the work of Edmund Spenser.

Prereq: Junior standing.

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27589

Bohls, Elizabeth

In 1797 the London Critical Review proclaimed, “This may be called the age of peregrination; for we have reason to believe, that the desire of seeing foreign countries never before so diffusively operated.”  British travelers circled the globe, pursuing exploration, trade, diplomacy,... (read more)

16954

Bohls, Elizabeth

Slavery shaped the ecology, economy, and culture of the Atlantic Rim, including parts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the long eighteenth century (1660-1838), British slavery on the Caribbean sugar islands reached its peak, was fought by the abolitionist movement and ended by Parliament... (read more)

27017

Sayre, Gordon

English 461 is an introduction to the literature of colonial America and the Early Republic. It satisfies the 1500-1789 area requirement for the English major. The course does not emphasize familiar genres of novel, poetry, or short story. Instead, we will be reading missionary relations,... (read more)