Spring 2021

Making Literary Histories I

Listed in: English, as ENGL-217


Ingrid L. Nelson (Section 01)


[Before 1800] What is “English Literature,” and how does one construct its history? What counts as “England” (especially in relation to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and to ancient Greece and Rome)? What is the relationship between histories of literature and political, social, religious and intellectual histories? What is the role of gender in the making of literature, and the making of its histories? These are the kinds of questions we will ask as we read texts from the seventh through the seventeenth centuries, including works such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (in translation) and writers from Chaucer and Margery Kempe in the Middle Ages to Margaret Cavendish and John Milton in the Renaissance.

Format: If at least 5 in-person students register for this course, it will run in person, with hybrid options for remote students. Course meetings will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Nelson.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to English majors or prospective majors.


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Spring 2021