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    English 122iw. Imagining the World in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

    Instructor: Alan Niles
    Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30-2:45pm | Location: TBA

    How did writers and audiences imagine the world before modernity? This course offers an introduction to the first 1000 years of English literature (roughly 700-1700) and the shifting terms through which writers were able to imagine the world beyond their borders. We will encounter hardy seafarers, fantastical monsters, and real and imagined peoples at the margins of Europe and beyond. We will study the genres of travel narrative, romance, epic, drama, and lyric, and the different ways these forms registered global connections, ideas of race, and cultural and religious difference. We will pay particular attention to the accelerated pace of global

    encounters and connections starting in the Renaissance, and the ways that English literature was able (or not) to register new peoples and places, new forms of economic connectivity, and the violence of colonialism and empire.

    Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Arrivals" requirement for the Class of 2022.

    English 124sg. Sex, Gender, and Shakespeare

    Instructor: Alan Niles
    Tuesday & Thursday, 9:00-10:15am | Location: TBA

    This class is an introduction to Shakespeare’s writings and their representations of sex, gender, romance, love, and queerness. We will study poems about erotic and queer desire, plays that stage ideas about gender and gender fluidity, and film adaptations that bring modern perspectives to race and sexuality. Readings will include such plays as Twelfth NightRomeo and JulietA Midsummer Night’s DreamTitus AndronicusMacbeth, and Measure for Measure; Shakespeare’s Sonnets; and films by Derek Jarman, Baz Luhrmann, and Julie Taymor. Throughout our course, we will ask: how are the forms of gender identity and sexual expression we encounter in Shakespeare’s works familiar, or different? How might they challenge, inspire, or disturb us today?

    Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Shakespeare" requirement for the Class of 2022.

    English 102e. Introduction to Old English: Landscape, Seascape, and Early Ecologies

    Instructor: Daniel Donoghue
    Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30-11:45am | Location: TBA
    Course Website

    How did people inhabit and view their physical environment in early medieval England? Was it life-sustaining or threatening? What was the balance between managing resources and exploiting them? How did poets and farmers, kings and saints invoke images of land and sea as meaningful symbols? The Old English literature on such questions, which is diverse and engaging, will form the basis of our in-class translations. Other assigned readings will survey environmental criticism and allow us to compare today’s perceptions with those from a distant past.

    This course combines language study with the investigation of a critical theme. The narratives set for translation provide a thematic coherence as we dig into the language of Old English, which is the vernacular used in England from the sixth century until about 1100. Although some of its features remain recognizable today, Old English needs to be learned as a foreign language with its own spelling, pronunciation, syntax, and so on. The term begins with an emphasis on grammar, which will be covered in graduated steps until midterm, after which the readings and translation will take up more of our class time.

    The promise of this course: you will gain the skills to translate any text in Old English; you will learn a great deal about contemporary English including weird facts your inner word-geek will love; you will expand your knowledge of environmental criticism as we examine its deep history.

    Note: Fulfills the College language requirement and the English Department's Foreign Literature requirement (c/o '22) if its continuation, English 103, is also completed.... Read more about English 102e. Introduction to Old English: Landscape, Seascape, and Early Ecologies

    English 119ty. English Literature: The First 1000 Years

    Instructor: Alan Niles
    Monday & Wednesday, 12:00-1:15pm
    Course Website

    This course is an introduction to the different voices, cultures, and traditions that made the first 1000 years of English literature, from Beowulf to Aphra Behn. We will study major and influential writings alongside lesser-known interlocutors—works by Marie de France, Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Mary Sidney, John Milton, Alexander Pope, and more. We will engage with the (often contested) social, political, and religious contexts that gave rise to creative work. We will pay particular attention to the historical transformations of romance, epic, drama, fable, and lyric, and the ways these forms were embedded in the social worlds of their time.

    Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Arrivals" requirement for the Class of 2022.

    English 90hb. Five Shakespeare Plays

    Instructor: Marc Shell
    Thursday, 12:00-2:00pm | Location: Zoom
    Course Website
    Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

    Please note that this course will be offered on Zoom and will meet remotely for the entirety of the Fall 2021 semester.

    Five Shakespearean Pieces: The seminar will focus on five plays (Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Henry V, The Tempest, and Merchant of Venice) with special attention to staging, literariness, and location.

    Note: This course satisfies the English Concentration "Shakespeare" requirement for the Class of 2022.