In this course, we will examine the history and culture of Anglo-Saxon England (and, to some extent, its neighbors) from 400 to 1100. We will consider scholarly attitudes toward a variety of issues such as the advent of the Anglo-Saxons, paganism and Christianity, social and political development, contacts with other islands and the continent, Bede and his impact on our vision of history, the impact of the Viking invasions, the gradual unification of the island, and finally the the Norman conquest of 1066.
Readings are assigned from books that are on reserve in the library, and articles that have been placed on Oncourse in the Resources folder. Some of these are available for purchase, and you might consider purchasing them.
25% Class participation
20% 2 book reviews (10% each)
15% Presentation of bibliographic essay/research paper
40% Bibliographic essay/research paper
A large part (25%) of the course grade is based on class participation. You are expected to do the reading for each week, and come prepared to discuss it. Your participation grade will be based as much (or more) on what you say as how much you say it. I will give you an estimate of your participation grade halfway through the semester, so that if necessary you can work to improve it.
Each student will write two book reviews, which will be presented to class (10 mins) on the day listed on the syllabus. The book reviews should be between 1000 and 1500 words long, and should take the format of a scholarly book review (any journal's format may be used). These books have been reviewed, of course, when they were published; I recommend that you NOT look at those reviews when writing your own, but you should, of course, look at reviews of other books to get an idea of the way you might go about it.
Bibliographic essay/research paper and presentation
There will also be a 10-15-page bibliographic essay or a 14-20 page research paper, on a topic of interest to you and related to medieval barbarians in some way.
You must turn in a statement of your topic on Sept. 26, and you must have discussed it with me first (during office hours or by appointment; talking about it before or after class is not sufficient).
A preliminary bibliography for your paper must be turned in on Oct. 17. Some of the materials you may need may not be in our library, and you will be expected to order them from interlibrary loan.
This project will result in a 20 minute presentation in the last class meeting. In the interests of preparing you to give conference papers, I would like you to write up and read your presentation. Part of the preparation will be timing yourself to keep to the 20-minute format.