English 90tu. The Tudors: Literature, Film, Myth

Instructor: Alan Niles
Wednesday, 9:45-11:45am | Location: TBA
Enrollment: Limited to 15 students

Henry VIII, “Bloody” Mary, Queen Elizabeth; Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne. In a little over a century, the Tudor dynasty reshaped English literature, culture, and politics. The Tudors have continued to shape popular imaginations of the English past ever since, being variously conscripted for the ideological work of Britain’s expanding empire, hailed as a privileged origin point for modernity, and transformed into popular novels, films, and TV series. This course explores the history and culture of the Tudor period and its enduring hold on our cultural imagination. Through readings, discussions, and class activities, we will explore such topics as narratives of the Protestant Reformation, the history of sexuality and queer erasure, race and colonialism in the early modern world, and literary transformations including the emergence of the literary market and the public stage. Readings will include poems, plays, and experimental prose writings by Thomas More, John Bale, Anne Askew, Thomas Wyatt, Anne Lok, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Donne, as well as more recent films, novels, and TV shows including Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, Derek Jarman’s Jubilee, Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare in Love, and Toby Marlowe and Lucy Moss’s musical Six.

This course satisfies the “Pre-1700 Guided Elective" requirement for English concentrators and Secondary Field students.