Eng 332 - Tudor Prose and Poetry
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Description + Objectives:
This course will examine prose and poetry produced by the English Renaissance, a time period stretching slightly beyond the beginning and ending points of the 1500's, sometimes referred to as the Tudor or Elizabethan Age to reflect the reigning monarchs' influence on the literature of the period.  We will consider texts in their historical/cultural/political context and interrogate the material circumstances of their production.  This course is designed to lead students to a deeper knowledge of the wide variety of English sixteenth-century non-dramatic texts, an understanding of the role of gender identity in Early Modern culture, a sense of the methods of New Historical critique, and an appreciation for the construction of knowledge in a community of scholars.

Required Texts:

  • Rollins, Hyder E. and Herschel Baker.  The Renaissance in England: Non-dramatic Prose and Verse of the Sixteenth Century.  Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.
  • Martin, Randall, ed.  Women Writers in Renaissance England.
  • Various critical readings supplied in class.

Methods and Evaluation:
This course will be conducted as a series of collaborative, inquiry-driven seminar sessions.  Students will determine the specific track of our investigation and construct the knowledge gained by semester's end by focusing on a few questions springing from a collection of "feeder" topics (The Questions).  Lecture will be kept to a minimum and class time will focus, instead, on student-led discussion and dialogue.
  • Because this is a student-centered course, all assigned reading from primary and supplementary critical texts must be completed prior to class meeting if the group is to fully benefit from discussion.
  • Students are expected to attend every class session. Emergencies do arise, however. If you expect to be absent from class, please make every attempt to get assignments in advance and make up work after the fact. More than seven absences for any reason will be grounds for a failing grade in the course.

  • A major part of the learning process will rise out of  informal written responses to readings = 20%

    • Students will be asked to keep a "dialectical notebook" for the first month of class in order to firmly establish a rich oral discussion during class periods.
    • Students will be asked to contribute to a class Commonplace Book [see Commonplace Books] during the second month of the course.  Paricipants will record their esponses to the readings in the pages of this book, and it will then be circulated among our "coterie," in much the same way such reading groups functioned in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
    • The course electronic discussion board will take the place of the notebook and Commonplace Book  for the remainder of the semester.

  • A research paper will be submitted at the end of the semeseter = 25% 
    • It should be approximately 10-12 pages long and explore a question or issue that rises out of our course dialogue. 
    • Its thesis must be supported by textual evidence from both primary texts and secondary critical sources
    • A paper proposal is due at the beginning of class on Friday, September 29. You should be prepared to share a brief explanation of your project with the class and post that description to this site so that others can help you with your research as they work on their projects and discover sources that may be of help to you.

  • The course web page will evolve as the class dialogue progresses.  Each student will be expected to develop a section of the course web site devoted to an inquiry of his/her choice and add to that section during the course of the semester. By the end of the semester, students will have constructed tentative answers to some of the questions they have posed over the fourteen week long discussion, and their web work will have served as the working draft of their final research paper = 25%
  • Two Exams = 20%

  • The traditional idea of "class participation" is unequal to the task of defining student involvement in this course.  Because students, and not the instructor, will construct the knowledge emerging at the end of the course, active engagement during class meetings, and outside of them in electronic spaces, is the engine that will drive student satisfaction.  To kick start that engine and keep it purring, a component of the final grade will assess the RPMs at which individual "engines" ran during the semester = 10%



Last update: Sunday, August 27, 2000 at 12:41:13 PM.
Dr. Janet Wright Starner || Writing Center Director || Assistant Professor/English || Wilkes University