English | English Literature 1500-1660
L621 | 26017 | Linton
L621 26017 LINTON (#2)
English Literature 1500-1660
4:00p – 5:15p TR
This course examines the literary productions of early modern
England within their intellectual, social, and discursive contexts,
with a focus on Christian humanism and its legacies. We will
approach humanism both for the program of learning it underwrites
and the writers and readers it produces, and for the movement’s
shaping of diverse discourses on domesticity, social justice,
religion and government. Such a focus will enable us to gain a sense
of the diversity of positions within Christian humanism, which has
often been misconstrued as monolithic. These writings will also
provide intellectual contexts for reading literary texts from a
range of genres, examining how individual texts reflect and rewrite
humanist values and assumptions in relation to their immediate
contexts and audiences.
Course readings and discussions will be organized around specific
topics, attending first to primary texts before moving on to engage
with relevant scholarly conversations and critical approaches.
Conversations may include: beauty and whiteness in courtly poetry,
the romance of domesticity in nation and empire building, women
writers in the literary market, the writerly space of the erotic,
religious poetry and writing the republic, race, gender, and science
in the discourse of discovery etc. This format is designed to help
participants gain familiarity with the period and discover areas of
interest for future research both in the period and beyond.
Participants will be responsible for 2 brief presentations that will
provide entries to discussion, and a short exploratory paper and a
longer research paper.
In addition to selections from humanist writings, readings may
include :More’s Utopia, Anne Askew’s Examinations, the poetry of
Richard Barnfield, Donne, Herbert, Jonson, Aemilia Lanyer, Marlowe,
Marvell, Katherine Phillips, Sidney, Shakespeare, Spenser, Isabella
Whitney, Mary Wroth; the prose fiction of Thomas Deloney, Thomas
Nashe, Aphra Behn, and Margaret Cavendish; excerpts from Spenser’s
The Faerie Queene and Milton’s Paradise Lost, and a play (possibly
Shakespeare’s The Tempest or Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling).