EH Courses Spring 2014 - page 4

We analyze and discuss one, perhaps two, texts per class. Most often, I assign questions on an
individual poem, image, or prose selection for each class. The questions serve as a means of
articulating a formalistic explication. This introductory reading is supplemented by various
critical perspectives, including deconstruction, gender and cultural studies, intertextuality, genre
theory, new historicism, and biography. These perspectives come naturally out of the "obstinate
questionings" we all have when analyzing a text.
The result of such a method of inquiry is, hopefully, an intelligent and multi-dimensional
response to the text. Thus, the so-called “outcomes” of the course can be summarized as (1) to
increase the student’s knowledge of the Romantic era and the texts studied, and (2) to increase
the student’s ability to read literature.
Typically, we read selections from the following writers: poetry: Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge,
Shelley, Keats; prose: Helen Maria Williams, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Hannah
More; fiction: Mary Shelley; images: Martin, Turner, and especially Blake. Recently, I have
become very interested in Blake, and so we will spend a good deal of time on Blake’s written
and visual works.
Also, if time permits, we will study Romanticism in today’s popular culture, including Johnny
Depp as William Blake (Dead Man), Shelley’s “Ozymandias” as a signifier in Breaking Bad’s
sixtieth episode, van Morrison’s homage to the Romantic poets in “Summertime in England,”
and more. But most of the class consists of analyzing the poetry of dead white men.
EH 350: Chaucer
Hagen MW 2:00-3:20
Chaucer is an upper-level literature course, but it has no prerequisite other than EH 102.
Everyone starts out pretty much at the beginning in dealing with Middle English and in
understanding the Middle Ages. Reading the
Canterbury Tales
in ME does take a little extra time
for the first two weeks or so, then it becomes much easier. The course is interdisciplinary at heart
since we cannot appreciate Chaucer’s poetry, his humor, or his insight into the human condition
unless we know something about the theology, art, and science of his time.
Our aim will be to better understand the theory of narrative art Chaucer is developing and his
sense of genre. I will be using a Moodle site for basic course communication and assignments;
much more information about the medieval world view and about Chaucer resources, though, is
available off of my Chaucer webpage at
time was not unlike our own. We hold in common shifting world economies, new understandings
in science, threats from terrible disease, and new concepts in epistemology.
1,2,3 5,6
Powered by FlippingBook