English | Chaucer
L612 | 26972 | Lochrie


L612  26972  LOCHRIE (#1)
Chaucer

1:00p – 2:15p TR

TOPIC:  CHAUCER AND THE QUEER PREMODERN
DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED

The queer, it turns out, is a thing of the past, but not the thing
we expected.  Given recent studies in temporality, historiography,
and sexualities, queerness is no longer only about sexual categories
and identities, but it is a way of reading and doing history.  In
addition, the entire understanding of the queer in the past 20 years
has been challenged recently by studies of past sexualities that
dispute the existence of “heteronormativity” as a transhistorical
category.  Finally, the queer has come to play in the same sandbox
with the postcolonial, the new historical, and even the ecocritical
in its methodological evolution.

This course will be an introduction to the major works of Geoffrey
Chaucer using queer theory and history as a central concern, but it
will also survey other kinds of theoretical approaches to Chaucer’s
work.  We will read in Middle English Chaucer’s major works,
including his dream poems, Troilus and Criseyde, and the Legende of
Good Women.  A selection of Canterbury Tales might be included, but
the course as a whole will be devoted to his other works.  Our lens
of the queer will allow us to focus on historical, social, and
religious issues in his poems, as well as issues of gender and
sexuality.  From virginity to affects to cultural institutions, the
queer will allow us to engage in some of the most recent debates in
the field, as well as to intervene in the contemporary queer
conversation.

In addition to The Riverside Chaucer, books for the course will
include Steve Ellis, Chaucer: An Oxford Guide, a good collection of
historical context, as well as theoretical approaches to Chaucer.
Much of the secondary reading related to Chaucer and queer
premodernity will be available through articles posted on Oncourse.

Requirements for the course include an oral presentation, two short
papers, and one conference-length presentation (10-12 pages).   No
prior knowledge of Chaucer is required.  Although we will
concentrate on Chaucer in the Middle English, you will have access
to modern translations and to crash courses in Middle English.