ENGLISH 100A: Literary History I (lecture)
Fall Quarter, 2012-2013
TTh 11:00-12:30, Room: 260-113
The idea of English literature was invented during the medieval and early modern periods. During this quarter we will explore these origins, asking what “English literature” meant for its earliest practitioners and how the writings of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance prepared for the literature that followed. Projecting ourselves back into this period requires us to reimagine some of the most familiar features of our own literary landscape when they were new and strange (or still unknown): the printing press, the American continent, even the English language itself. When this course begins, English is the language of illiterate cowherds (such as the first English poet, Cædmon); when it closes, English is the language of the Bible, a transformation made possible by generations of poets, playwrights, and other writers who endowed its literature with authority, invention, and beauty.
This course fulfills the following Major Requirements: