English 103g. Advanced Old English: Scribes and Manuscripts

Instructor: Daniel Donoghue
Monday & Wednesday, 10:30-11:45 am | Location: TBA

Building on the basic grammar and translation skills learned in English 102, this course introduces students to Old English literature in its most immediate context: the manuscripts that preserve their earliest copies. The weekly task of translation will be supplemented by consistent attention to the manuscript contexts of Old English literature. The texts will include selections from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the OE Genesis with its illustrations, Exeter Book Riddles, Beowulf, and others. The instruction will guide students through basic principles of manuscript study. As a special event we will invite a professional calligrapher to instruct students—equipped with a goose quill!—on the traditional skill of calligraphy. At the end of the term, with the help of personal coaching, each student will edit and translate manuscript folios in a collaborative edition of an Old English text.

Recommended Preparation: English 102.

Students who complete both English 102 and 103 with honors grades will fulfill the College language requirement and the English Department’s Foreign Literature requirement.