English | Renaissance Poetry & Prose
L730 | 25925 | Linton


L730  25925 LINTON (#2)
Renaissance Poetry & Prose

9:00a – 12:00p T

TOPIC: RELIGION AND THE POLITICAL IN EARLY MODERN ENGLISH LITERATURE
AND
CULTURE

In “Religion and Ideology,” Frederic Jameson points to religion
as “the master-code of pre-capitalist society.” The claim can be
complicated in various ways, and doing so would be especially timely
with respect to early modern England’s Reformation religious
politics and nascent capitalism. The field has seen a recent turn,
or return, to religion in connection with philosophy, questions of
civil society, and the cultural politics of imperialism, among other
things. This course seeks to recapitulate some of these developments
as a basis for discussion, from which students may formulate
historically and theoretically informed approaches to the period’s
literary and dramatic texts. The course will be organized around two
foci: (1) literary engagements with political theologies (how do
writers intervene in post-Reformation issues of sovereignty,
citizenship, sainthood?); (2) textual encounters with the
Other/others (how do genres devise responsibilities to the divine
interpellation and to religious others, namely, Ireland and Islam?).
The overall objective is to create a conversation that locates these
texts between religion and philosophy in addressing concerns
relevant to early modern England as well as today.

Primary texts may include: Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World
(selections) and The Religious; Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine;
Milton’s Paradise Lost (selections) and Samson Agonistes;
Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and Othello; Spenser’s A View of
the Present State of Ireland and Mutalibitie Cantos; Anna Trapnel’s
The Cry of a Stone; a Turk play.

Critics and theorists may include: Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin,
Jacques Derrida, Barbara Fuchs, Jean Howard, Ken Jackson, Victoria
Kahn; Emmanuel Levinas, Julia Reinhard Lupton, Nabil Matar, Chantal
Mouffe, Edward Said, Eric Santner, Carl Schmitt, Deborah Shuger,
Daniel Vitkus.

Course work may include: 1 in-class presentation,
reflections/questions on discussion topics, a 20-25 pp. research
paper along with proposal and first draft, and participation in an
end-of-semester mini-seminar.