English 341.01 Survey of British Literature [10th c. - early 18th c.]                  Fall 2017                          
Dr. Stephan Flores (sflores@uidaho.edu)                                                      
11:00 am -12:15 pm TR TLC 023                                                                        
http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~sflores/                                                  Main office of Department of English: 885-6156

Office hours: W 2:30pm-4:00 p.m. & by appt.                                             Office: Brink 125

Prerequisite: English 102 or equivalent, and pre-or-co-requisite of Engl 175, or 257, or 258; English majors must in addition have completed Engl 215, or enroll by permission of instructor.

Course Description:

The course surveys the wonderful and varied history of medieval and early modern British poetry, drama, and prose fiction, including haunting early English elegiac poetry, including the power of Beowulf, the General Introduction and selections from Geoffrey Chaucer's wonderful The Canterbury Tales, the anti-heroic? romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one late 17th-century non-Shakespearean play--Wycherley's Restoration sex comedy The Country Wife--selections from Shakespeare's sonnets, Aemilia Lanyer's and Mary Wroth's poetry, John Donne's erotic lyrics and religious verse, nearly all (!) of Milton's epic, magnificent poem Paradise Lost, Aphra Behn's verse (she is among the first professional female writers) and the Earl of Rochester's satiric verse as well as Behn's debate-provoking novella Oroonoko (is it a proto-abolitionist work?), and Eliza Haywood's provocative short fiction Fantomina. These and other selected works represent but a portion of the rich literature over these centuries; we'll proceed at a steady, fairly brisk pace that enables us to consider substantial texts and secondary critical essays in some depth while also sustaining an overview that extends into the eighteenth century.

Our aim is to work together to explore the social, sexual, political, and formal issues these texts represent as well as the continuities and discontinuities of literary history. Assignments include weekly Inquiry-Starter entries on Bblearn, a Critical Essay, a Term Essay, and a Final Exam.

The quote that follows serves as a general guiding premise/claim for the course and its outcomes (also see expected learning outcomes noted further below, following the semester schedule): Literature provides us with a way of understanding how our social life works. Human social life consists of narratives for living, with ‘narratives’ being understood here as an actual life experience spread over time and guided by cultural stories that justify it to participants. Both the cultural and real-world narrative can change; both use frames to exclude norm-dissonant perspectives and values and to ensure that the meanings that support the continuity and homogeneity of the lived process are stable, predictable, and enforced. Who tells the stories in the culture thus largely shapes how that cultural world will be organized. Stories are what people believe and how they believe, and how people believe determines how they act and how they live. Stories can change how people think, perceive, believe, and act. The analysis of the work they perform is thus an important endeavor. And that is what criticism is all about. (An Introduction to Criticism: Literature/Film/Culture--Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

This class counts toward/satisfies several different elective possibilities in the different emphases in the English major, such as the "one upper-division course in literature before 1900 (3 cr)" requirement in the Literature emphasis, or as one of the options in the 9 credits of 300-level literature surveys, or in the Creative Writing emphasis the "Shakespeare or another course in literature before 1800 (3 cr)" requirement, or as one of two required electives among the 300-level literature surveys, and similar options/requirements in the Teaching emphasis or in the current Professional emphasis.

Broader contexts for desired course outcomes are situated within the department's goals for the English major and the university's learning outcomes. In addition, as the course progresses, see further below learning outcomes specific to this course and level.

Required texts:

The Norton Anthology of English Literature Vol. 1, Ninth ed.(2012), Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. Paperback: ISBN: 978-0-393-91247-0 Note: this edition is required for the course--do not plan to use a different anthology/edition.

Other primary and secondary works on library reserve and PDF documents (including scholarly articles/essays on many of our texts) in folders/course Bblearn site.

Login to Bblearn in advance of our first class meeting, by using your UIDAHO NetID. You can update your password at http://help.uidaho.edu/. If you haven't already, setup your NetID at www.vandalsetup.uidaho.edu. If you continue to experience problems accessing BbLearn after changing your password, please contact the ITS Help Desk by email helpdesk@uidaho.edu, or phone (208)885-HELP.
Student Help using BbLearn


1. Thirteen written Inquiry Starters (ISs)--(13 in total over the course of the semester--no more than one IS due during any one week): a combination of citation (summary-review) with thesis/problem-driven response (at minimum 225 words each), due by 10:00 a.m. on your choice of either Tuesday or Thursday. Note that over the course of the semester, plan to post six or seven ISs on Tuesdays and six or seven ISs on Thursdays: each IS should demonstrate a reflective engagement with that week's reading assignment(s), to include finding a couple of points of interest that enable you to take a stance/make a claim, state a point of view/thesis about the texts/ideas--see two examples via this weblink). Six or seven of your Inquiry Starters should respond quite directly to the literary text under discussion (be sure, however to read the introductory headnotes in the Norton anthology); and six or seven of your Inquiry Starters should respond directly to a substantial scholarly article/resource from Bblearn (PDF).

Inquiry Starters present a means for you and the class to share close critical analysis, enthusiasms and questions as you delve into the text’s significance, methods, and effects, and to learn from others' comments (a version of Graff's "They Say, I Say" exchange, see Bblearn). No late entries —Inquiry Starters are due/posted on the Bblearn discussion thread no later than 10 a.m. and must address a scheduled text or relevant piece of scholarship for that day (in other words, do not post about a Tuesday text on Thursday). See left side menu on Bblearn, click on that, then find appropriate thread for each IS, and post an entry and provide a "title" for your entry. Inquiry Starters are to be posted on Bblearn no later than 10:00 a.m. the day of class. Entries posted any later than 10 am will lose five points--that is, your semester point total will be reduced by five points for each late or missing Inquiry-Starter entry. Come to class prepared to talk about your ISs/ideas; at times we'll spotlight individual ISs, using the projector to introduce the ISs via Bblearn to facilitate discussion, so keep in mind that you may be called upon in class to comment further upon your IS. I attend to the ISs as part of my evaluation of your performance in the course--strive each week for a full and thoughtful/analytical entry--avoid posting entries that are too brief and/or mainly descriptive rather than analytical. Remember: Missing or late inquiry-starter entries will be counted against your semester grade, and if your grades are on a borderline between grade ranges then missing even one entry may reduce your semester grade (see below).

2. In-class Final Exam (Tuesday December 12, 10:00am-12:00pm)—see full guidelines/advice in PDF in our Bblearn site—bring “bluebooks” or paper, your Norton edition text, and optional one standard sheet of paper with any study notes (front and back is OK). This focused exam will entail/require two essays on your choice of texts structured as follows:

You shall write two in-class essays during the exam; each essay will be in response to a choice among several options over different selected texts, as described below. Your choice of topic will depend in part on what you wrote your Critical and Term Essays on—you cannot write on the same text(s) as your Critical or Term Essay.

The first half (Part 1) of the exam presents four options (with framing problems/questions; options A or B or C or D)—choose one option to write one essay on

(A) Haywood's Fantomina

(B) on Marvell's "Upon Appleton House" (1811) and/or Jonson's "To Penshurst" (1546) and/or Lanyer's "The Description of Cookham" (1436)

(C) the poetic exchange/argument between Jonathan Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room" (p. 2767) and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's "The Reasons That Induced Dr. Swift to Write a Poem Called the Lady's Dressing Room," (p. 2770) or

(D)  the poetic exchange/argument between Pope's "Epistle 2. To a Lady" (p.2772) and Anne Ingram, Viscountess Irwin's "An Epistle to Mr. Pope" (p.2780)

the second half (Part 2) of the exam consists of one essay that you shall write in response to a question selected from these options (A, B, or C)

(A) on Wycherley's The Country Wife ( you may bring a hard copy of this PDF/play to the exam or access it, if needed, by laptop or phone

(B) on Behn's Oroonoko or

(C) on Milton’s Paradise Lost

For example, if your Term Essay was on Fantomina, then for Part 1 you will need to write on option B, or C, or D and so on, or if your Term Essay was on Paradise Lost, then you would need to choose options A or B for Part 2.

Bring your Norton anthology to the exam, along with bluebooks or ruled notebook paper. You may bring one sheet of paper (your notes) to the exam. Unless you are using an electronic version of our anthology, you cannot use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop during the exam. In addition to rereading/reviewing what you anticipate to be the literary texts that you may write about for the exam, I encourage you to read/review a couple of scholarly articles on the works, in the Bblearn folders on these writers.

I recommend getting to the points you want to make without lengthy introductions, plot summary, or too general of interpretations; do refer to specific characters and passages from the text to support your argument and your generalizations. If you quote from the text, do so briefly. Develop your thesis clearly and logically and offer support that includes some attention to the text's formal and linguistic qualities (e.g., diction, imagery, narrative or poetic or dramatic structure, point of view, rhyme, tone, etc.) and the relation of these elements to your interpretation. You may refer to your text during the exam. Please write as legibly as possible, preferably in ink.

3. Critical Essay , with title, (see highlighted weblink for fuller advice on writing critical essay as well as the folder in Bblearn--electronic copy due by E-mail to me (sflores@uidaho.edu) by noon on Monday October 23rd--be sure to include your last name as part of the document title, such as Smith_341F17_CA).--also drop off a hard copy in Brink 200 or bring one to class on Tuesday) on either Beowulf, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or one (or more) of The Canterbury Tales, or Wyatt's poetry, or Lanyer's poetry or Wroth's poetry, or Donne's poetry, or Spenser's poetry (Epithalamion), or Shakespeare's sonnets, or Jonson or Marvell (or for instance, an essay on Lanyer's, Jonson's, and Marvell's country house poems); approximately 1600 words/six pages for main body of essay, double-spaced (e.g. 12-pt. Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins), with reference to at least one piece of “instructor-specified” secondary criticism beyond our assigned reading in the Norton edition (also cite that text), according to selections (refer to/cite/draw upon at least one substantial article/book chapter in Bblearn folder for the corresponding literary text (I advise against drawing upon other scholarly articles or books via our library/database) posted on our class website for criticism on each text. I encourage you to send me by email a brief description of your provisional topic and thesis, by Wednesday October 18. The primary aims of this thesis-seeking/problem-posing exploratory essay assignment is to engage with the text and its critical interpretation/reception by identifying problems, developing claims and arguments, and enriching your literary understanding, interests, and commitments. I am not necessarily interested so much in whether your analysis is 'original' as I am in whether you address an interesting topic, explore interpretive/analytic issues productively, and demonstrate understanding that proceeds from your own reading as well as your research. You may draw upon/incorporate/revise one or more of your Inquiry Starters as a means to discover and to develop a topic, but you are not required or expected to do so. Use/learn Modern Language Association format for any notes and works cited (see, for instance, link to MLA format guidelines further below, and the Norton online resources/example of developing a research essay. For this assignment I encourage you to write an essay in response to one or more specific questions/problems of understanding and interpretation. See also University of Idaho Guidelines on Academic Dishonesty (including plagiarism). In accordance with the UI Student Code of Conduct, I report instances of academic dishonesty/plagiarism, to the office of the Dean of Students. Note: also see requirement #12 below. See rubric for evaluating the critical and the term essay below.

4. Term Essay on text or texts and topic of your choice due Tuesday December 5 in class also with electronic copy sent to be by email (late essays will not be accepted beyond noon Thursday December 7, with hard copy to be delivered to Brink 200), from our schedule of readings/syllabus this semester (excluding topic and text analyzed in prior Critical Essay, double-spaced (12 pt, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, MLA format, approximately 8-10 pages for main body of essay), with significant reference to at least two secondary works of criticism in addition to/beyond our Norton anthology (selected only from folders on Bblearn, that include substantial recent articles or book chapters--note that there are folders for Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer, Skelton, Spenser, Lanyer, Wroth, Wycherley, Paradise Lost, Behn and Rochester, including essays on Oroonoko as well as poetry, Donne, and Fantomina): this critical essay develops ideas prompted by our study and conversation, by recent scholarship, and by your perspectives. If you wish to write on a text that we have considered but find that there are not two substantial critical essays on that text/writer in a Bblearn folder, please let me know as soon as possible. I shall attend to the ways that you select, define, and engage questions and contradictions, and to the clarity, imagination, and grace that you demonstrate in presenting your topic, (hypo)thesis, and argument, and the extent to which your work engages with, explains, and contributes to the larger "conversation" of scholarship on the topic and text(s) under analysis. I do not always expect essays to conclude by "solving" such problems or by "proving" your thesis; I hope that you address interesting topics (questions for debate, interpretation, and analysis) in thoughtful and useful ways. Please feel invited to confer with me during the writing process. See also general advice for critical essays similar to prior advice on the Critical Essay that pertains as well to this Term Essay--also see folder in Bblearn. See also University of Idaho Guidelines on Academic Dishonesty (including plagiarism). In accordance with the UI Student Code of Conduct, I report instances of academic dishonesty/plagiarism, to the office of the Dean of Students. Note: also see requirement #12 below.

5. Participation: Please take advantage of opportunities to share your insights and to listen and reply to others' ideas (often the Inquiry Starters can help you to initiate and to enter conversations). I hope that questions and discussions will enable you to move the class in directions you find most helpful, give you opportunities to develop critical skills through collaboration, and provide for a productive, interesting exchange of perspectives among the class. The Inquiry Starters will prompt our discussions: you should be prepared to comment on the day's reading for every class session--that is, complete the reading and be ready to contribute to each class meeting, including periodic occaions where I'll ask you to write about (in class) some aspect of the reading under discussion for that day. We may form small groups from time to time primarily for discussing/sharing Inquiry Starters, as noted above.

6. All required work is due at the beginning of class on the due date—work turned in late will be graded accordingly. Required graded written work will be downgraded one notch (for example, B+ to B, converted to points for each assignment) for each weekday late (not just days classes meet but counting just one day for a weekend); note, however, that the Term Essay cannot be turned in late--it is due in class on December 12. Work submitted more than a week late will not be accepted. I will grant short extensions for medical and family emergencies—but talk with me as soon as possible to request an extension. Always keep copies of your work.

7. Attendance: One or two absences will not affect your semester grade; a third absence will count (- 3pts) only if you have four or more absences, with a five-point reduction for each absence starting with four absences (four absences=minus 8 points, five absences = minus 13 points); six or more absences is sufficient cause for you to receive a failing grade for the course, regardless of your semester point total. All absences will be counted—excused or not—if something extraordinary occurs, talk to me as soon as possible. Please try to schedule appointments with doctors or advisors outside of class time, when possible.

Exceptional circumstances: Another category of absence has to due with conflicting university commitments that are academic (such as a theater majors' trip to a regional conference) or a required UI athletic trip etc.—that is, absences that are due to a departmental or team trip (with supporting note from an academic adviser or the athletic department), or a doctor's appointment, or if absences due to illness begin to accumulate to three or more (if this develops, again, talk to me as soon as possible in order to arrange to make up, if possible, for missed work).
To make up for such absences on an absence-by-absence basis in a timely fashion/time frame, choose a scholarly article or substantial headnote/chapter from our text(s) or from a Bblearn folder—select one that can be related in some way to the text under discussion for the day for which you will be absent due to a university academic or sports commitment/conflict.

Write a concise summary (275-300 words) of some main aspect of the scholarly article/source—such as the primary, most important or engaging idea(s) and point(s) of argument and interpretation—also include some brief reflection (75-100 words) on the article’s main ideas/argument: for example, what  you find most valuable or problematic. Strive to be accurate, direct, and concise in the summary; aim for a fair, nonpartisan stance and tone, and except for brief quotes use your own words to express the author's ideas, use attributive tags (such as according to Smith or Smith argues that) to keep the reader informed that you are expressing another's ideas, and focus the summary to produce a cohesive, coherent account. You might begin the summary by identifying the question or the problem that the essay addresses, then state the essay's purpose or thesis and summarize its argument or primary analysis.
Post your entry as an extra Inquiry Starter for that week (to be posted no later than a week following the missed class), and send an email to me with the content of that post (sflores@uidaho.edu). Missed classes and work cannot be made up at the end of the semester.

8. Grades: Final Exam (50 pts); Critical Essay (100 pts); Term Essay (130 pts). These required assignments add up to a maximum of 280 points. Thus 252-280 points equals an A, 224-251 equals a B, 196-223 equals a C, 168-195 equals a D, and anything below 168 merits an F. I shall reserve a potential five bonus points based on my perceptions of the strength of your participation and efforts over the semeste, including strengths of your Inquiry Starters (these points, if any, will be entered into the Absences/Bonus points column in Bblearn Grade Center; incomplete or missing Inquiry-Starter entries will be counted against your semester grade, with the loss of five points for each missing or incomplete entry--make every effort to complete each week's ISs on time, in part because such penalty points add up all too quickly. Also note that near the end of November, I will post your point totals for the graded assignments, and any accumulated penalty points to date for missing/late ISs, and absences, to the Grade Center in Bblearn.

9. Office hours. I encourage you to confer with me—especially before assignments are due—to talk about your interests, intentions, and writing strategies. If you cannot make my regular hours (in Brink 125), we’ll arrange another time. I also welcome communicating with you by E-mail (sflores@uidaho.edu).

10. Use of laptops and cell phones during class is prohibited; occasional use of laptops—typically for group work and to access the online components of the class—may be permitted with instructor’s approval.

11. Do not submit work for this class that you have submitted or intend to submit for a grade in another course; as always, be careful to cite anyone else's work that you draw upon. See highlighted link on the class website to a useful guide to avoiding plagiarism, and a link to information on the university's policies regarding plagiarism. See also University of Idaho Guidelines on Academic Dishonesty (including plagiarism). In accordance with the UI Student Code of Conduct, I report instances of academic dishonesty/plagiarism, to the office of the Dean of Students.

12. Classroom Learning and Civility: To support learning and discovery in this course—as in any university course—it is essential that each member of the class feel as free and as safe as possible in his or her participation. To this end, we must collectively expect that everyone (students, professors, and guests) seek to be respectful and civil to one another in discussion, in action, in teaching, and in learning. Because knowledge and learning are constructed and construed through social inquiry and exchange, it is vital that course dialogue and debate encourage and expect a substantial range of reasoned, expressive, and impassioned articulation of diverse views in order to build a stronger understanding of the materials and of one another's ways of knowing. These practices strengthen our capacities for understanding and the production of (new) knowledge. As with the critical writing assignments for this class, our primary aims include engaging with texts and their varied critical interpretations by identifying problems, developing claims and arguments with supporting lines of evidence and explanation, and enriching our literary understanding, interests, and commitments.

Should you feel our classroom interactions do not reflect an environment of civility and respect, you are encouraged to meet with me during office hours to discuss your concern. Additional resources for expression of concern and avenues of support include the chair of the Department of English, Dr. Scott Slovic, the Dean of Students office and staff (5-6757), the UI Counseling & Testing Center’s confidential services (5-6716), or the UI Office of Human Rights, Access, & Inclusion (5-4285).

13. Disability Support Services: Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have documented temporary or permanent disabilities. All accommodations must be approved through Disability Support Services (885-6307; dss@uidaho.edu; www.uidaho.edu/dss) located in the Idaho Commons Building, Room 306 in order to notify your instructor(s) as soon as possible regarding accommodation(s) needed for the course.

Schedule/Syllabus; If we fall behind, then on occasion we may defer or spill over discussion to next day, and adjust accordingly--for works that we discuss only one day, you are to have finished reading the work prior to class discussion; for works that we discuss over several days, make an effort to have finished most of the work prior to the first day of discussion (with the exception of Paradise Lost) but recognize that for the first day we'll likely focus our analysis/conversation on the first half or so of the text under discussion. For many of the texts, see PDFs of criticicim, study guide/questions in folders on class Bblearn site.





The Dream of the Rood (32); "Introduction": the Middle Ages to ca. 1485 (3-25); some riddles from the Book of Exeter (I'll project these on the document cam--also there is a PDF sheet of these riddles that you can read before class, in the Bblearn folder for Old English poetry); The Wanderer (117)

Wulf and Eadwacer (see PDF text as well as audio/video files/links via Bblearn Old English folder and also copied below); The Wife's Lament (Norton Anthology, Ninth ed. p. 120); The Seafarer (pdf via Bblearn); Jennifer Neville, "Joyous play and bitter tears: the Riddles and the Elegies" (PDF in folder on Bblearn--you can find the riddles that we discussed in class cited in Neville's essay); start reading Beowulf; we shall also glance at The Wanderer (117) and perhaps The Dream of the Rood (because we didn't get to these on the first day).

Wulf and Eadwacer read aloud in Old English; Wulf and Eadwacer, visual and audio version

Norton site audio files of Old and Middle English


Inquiry Starter 1 due by 10:00am on Bblearn today OR on Thursday (see guidelines above under Requirements #1), on some aspect of your engagement (thus far) with reading Beowulf; see study questions in PDF in Beowulf folder on Bblearn; Andy Orchard, "Beowulf and other battlers: an introduction to Beowulf" (2012, in folder on Bblearn)

Read one or more of the many critical essays in the Bblearn folder on Beowulf


Inquiry Starter 2 due by 10:00am on Bblearn today OR on Thursday; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; see study questions (including those in the Norton notes PDF), close summary of the poem, notes on older criticism ...; see Larry Benson's "The Meaning of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" (1965), and get a start on either Sheila Fisher's "Taken Men and Token Women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" (1989), or Derek Pearsall's "Courtesy and Chivalry in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: the Order of Shame and the Invention of Embarrassment" in folder on Bblearn

Fisher's and Pearsall's essays; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight



Inquiry Starter 3 due by 10:00am today or Thursday; Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The General Prologue; see my study questions and notes (in Bblearn folder) and be sure to listen to audio recordings/selections from these tales: see weblinks from within the Bblearn folder on Chaucer, including Annina Jokinen reading the opening lines from The General Prologue, and also Murray McGillivray on pronouncing Chaucer's English as well as McGillivray reading The General Prologue (listen to him as you read from your text); plus audio files on the Norton site --in other words, listen repeatedly and work to memorize the opening lines to the General Prologue

Optional reading: Morgan's essay "Moral and Social Identity and the Idea of Pilgrimage in the General Prologue"

The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale


Inquiry Starter 4 due by 10:00am today or Thursday, on Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale; read one of the essays by Patterson, or Finke, or Fradenburg, or Leicester, or or Hansen or even a more recent essay by Carter, Nakley, or McTaggart (via Bblearn folder on Chaucer)

Chaucer, The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale


Inquiry Starter 5 due by 10:00am today or Thursday; Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder, especially "They flee from me" (two versions, pp.653-654) "Whoso list to hunt" (based on Petrarch's Sonnet 190) "What vaileth truth?" "My lute, awake!" "Mine own John Poins" and "The long love that in my thought doth harbor (p.648, compare this to Surrey's translation of Petrarchs Rima 140); Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, "Love, that doth reign and live within my thought" (663)

Edmund Spenser, Epithalamion (pp.990-999); see also some of his Amoretti sonnets, such as Sonnet 75 (p. 989) and also handout of Sonnets 45, 15, 35, 28.



Inquiry Starter 6 due by 10:00am today or Thursday; Shakespeare, Sonnets, especially #20, #30, #55, #116, #129, #130; note also in addition to the many sonnets in our text, also several are available via pdf in Bblearn (#56, #104, #118, #121) along with essays on Shakespeare's verse and language; also try your hand at writing/filling in a 'redacted' Shakespearean sonnet--see the "Write a Sonnet" PDF in the Bblearn folder on Shakespeare's sonnets/verse

Aemilia Lanyer, from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum: "To the Doubtful Reader (1431); "To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty"; "To the Virtuous Reader" (1432); "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women" (1433)

Lanyer, "The Description of Cookham" (1436); recommended: one of the essays on Lanyer, such as the one by Susanne Woods or by Marshall Grossman (Bblearn folder on Lanyer). Want to read a bit more of Lanyer's work?--see weblink in Bblearn folder.


Inquiry Starter 7 due by 10:00am today or Thursday (can be on Shakespeare's sonnets or on Marlowe, Ralegh, or Donne); ; compare/contrast: Marlowe, "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love"; Raleigh, "The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd"; John Donne, "The Bait"; Donne, "The Canonization" (p. 1377) "The Flea" "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning"; Donne, "The Ectasy," "Elegy 19: To His Mistress Going to Bed," (p. 1393) "Air and Angels" "Love's Alchemy" "The Funeral" "The Relic," "Holy Sonnets #10, #14; "Introduction": The Early Seventeenth Century (1603-1660); see Bblearn folder for study questions, summary of criticism on Donne, and recommended essay by Judith Herz on reading Donne's poetry

Ben Jonson, "To Penshurst" (1546); Andrew Marvell, "Upon Appleton House" (1811)


Inquiry Starter 8 due by 10:00am today or Thursday; Mary Wroth, from The Countess of Montgomery's Urania, from The First Book (1562); Song ("Love what art thou? A vain thought" 1565); from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus (1566-1570); from A Crown of Sonnets Dedicated to Love (1570-1571)

OK, we're tackling Milton's Paradise Lost (p. 1945)—(at the least ) have Book 1 read before today's class, see especially ll. 1-330, and for each Milton class meeting, have a passage picked out with some ideas about why you think the passage/lines are interesting/effective/significant--see also the Milton folder in Bblearn--lectures on PL will also be posted to Bblearn for each class--see Lecture 1; Critical Essay is due this next Monday October 23rd by noon--email document to me, and drop off in Brink 200, or bring hard copy to class on Tuesday October 24th.


Critical Essay is due MONDAY October 23rd by noon--email document to me by noon, and drop off hard copy in Brink 200 on Monday, or you can bring a hard copy to class on Tuesday October 24th;

Inquiry Starter 9 due by 10:00am today or Thursday; Paradise Lost, Book 2 (focus on ll. 299-485 and ll. 629-1055, and particularly ll. 643-889, and 51-105, 119-225, 146-163, 229-253, 310 ff., 397-402, 402-426, 495 ff, 550-561); see essay on mapping PL and/or the notes on contextual concepts and topics in Paradise Lost (Bblearn folder); see/read Lectures 1 and 2 in Bblearn folder (available separately and also as a combined PDF)

Paradise Lost, Book 3 (also see its headnote or 'Argument', focus on ll. 1-554 but try to read all Book 3, including particularly 56-343, 54-55, 90-134, 144-166, 169-216, 217-265, 266-343, 399-415); read John Leonard's "Language and Knowledge in Paradise Lost" (Bblearn folder); see/read/review Lectures on Paradise Lost 1-3 in Bblearn folder; see Lecture 3 in Bblearn Milton folder. Today's lecture is on Milton's epic similes--see PDF in Milton folder on Bblearn on Miltonic Similes


Inquiry Starter 10 due by 10:00am today or Thursday;

Paradise Lost, Book 4, especially ll. 1-828, and focus on ll. 1-407, include too 1-130, 205-355, 356-393, 268 ff., 233 ff., 285ff., 288, 297, 307, 440-491, esp. 477, 345, 521; read John Carey's "Milton's Satan" (Bblearn folder); see, and 'catch up' on Lectures 4, 5, and 6 in Bblearn Milton folder.

Paradise Lost, Book 5, focus on ll. 1-562, especially ll. 278-505; ll. 743-907; see, read, review Lectures on Paradise Lost 4-6 in Bblearn folder


Inquiry Starter 11 due by 10:00am today or Thursday, on Paradise Lost--can be on any passages but include in your Inquiry Starter some reference to either John Leonard's essay, John Carey's essay, or Diane McColley's essay (Bblearn folder);

Paradise Lost, Book 6, read The Argument (via highlighted weblink), and perhaps 296-385; Book 7, The Argument (via highlighted weblink), ll. 1-39 (The Invocation); Book 8, ll. 179-653, esp. 249-578 (to the end of the book); read Diane McColley's "Milton and the sexes" (Bblearn folder); see Lectures 6 and 7 in Bblearn Milton folder.

Paradise Lost, Book 9, especially ll. 192-411, and 780-1055, but also on through to 1189; optional: Acheson's essay on authorship, sexuality, and the psychology of privation in Paradise Lost or Knoppers' essay on history and politics in PL (Bblearn folder); see Lectures 8, 9, and 10.


Inquiry Starter 12 due by 10:00am today or by Thursday; note: our class does NOT MEET TODAY

Paradise Lost, Book 10, ll. 34-228, and also focus on ll. 452-577, and 706-965 or even 706-1104; see Lectures 11, 12, and 13 to conclude study and lectures on Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost, Book 11 The Argument (via highlighted weblink) and Book 12, focus on ll. 465-649; read, review Lecture on Paradise Lost #8; more Milton? recommended: "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso"; "Lycidas"

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave; see PDF on Cultural and Historical Contexts to Oroonoko in Bblearn folder, my summary/page notes, and consider reading Newman's essay (from a paper she deliverd last year at a conference that I attended!) or one of the other essays on Oroonoko




Inquiry Starter 13 due by 10:00am today or Thursday; Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave; rec. : Behn, "The Disappointment"; Earl of Rochester, "The Imperfect Enjoyment" "The Disabled Debauchee" "Upon Nothing"; Rec. Zeitz, Lisa M. and Peter Thoms. "Power, Gender, and Identity in Aphra Behn's 'The Disappointment'." SEL 37 (1997): 501-516.

Eliza Haywood, Fantomina; or, Love in a Maze; see Bblearn folder for study questions and essays on Fantomina;



Term Essay due, hard copy in class today Tuesday December 5 also with electronic copy sent to be by email (late essays will not be accepted beyond noon Thursday December 7, with hard copy to be delivered to Brink 200); William Wycherley, The Country Wife (see Bblearn folder on Wycherley, with PDF of play, plus Routledge introduction, also Susan Owen's chapter on the play, and other essays too)

William Wycherley, The Country Wife


12/12 TUESDAY: Final Exam (in our regular classroom): 10:00am-12:00pm, two essays, over several selected texts--see description above under course requirement #3, and PDF in Bblearn about preparing for the final.





Student Learning Outcomes (see this link for longer list and contexts for desired outcomes, that supplement the three outcomes stated below)
In English 341 students will learn, develop, and strengthen abilities
- to understand and to explain the historical dimensions of literary characters’ desires for and relation with others, including social negotiations and ideological debates over valued identities and principles, particularly as these desires and relations are understood as rhetorical functions and effects of the literary text in its particular language/form/structure and its contexts
-to explore the extent to which the culturally-inflected and historically-situated desires and power relations and identities in literary works are shown to be in flux, narrated and dramatized as being put into question or engaged in a debate among different social, political, class, gender, ethnic, religious/ideological arrangements
-to write a substantial critical essay that engages with a literary text and its critical interpretation/reception by identifying problems, developing claims and arguments, and enriching literary understanding, interests, and commitments

Examples of Contexts/Topics included in the Norton Anthology of English Literature website (related to student learning outcomes listed above--this outline suggests some of the texts/issues or 'content' of what students will explore/learn about)

Evaluation/Assessment Rubric for Critical Essay and Term Essay, with check mark along a scale, including specific comments to supplement my notations on the texts of the essays themselves:

Rubric for Initial Criteria for Evaluating Critical Writing/Essays:   Excellent    Very Good-Good    Competent-Fair    Weak
Note: Ultimately the evaluation of your work is holistic,
and therefore also intends to register the different, nuanced,
unexpected and evocative effects of your analysis,
exploration, creative expression/affect, and engagement
with learning and discovery.

1. Strength and clarity of (hypo)thesis/focus,
this may include your introduction to the problem to be
addressed, the critical/scholarly question and
conversation that your essay will contribute to,
intervene in …

2. Intellectual/conceptual strength and persuasiveness of
main claim as well as ensuing argument (including
counter-argument to respond to differing or opposing views
/logic/premises/critical analysis/theory/ideas         

3. Cohesive and coherent development, logical
 organization, including well-structured paragraphs with
clear points and compelling, specific support/evidence

4. Analysis of text’s/topic’s relevant cultural/historical
 contexts and if deployed, of related scholarship/criticism;
analysis of text’s rhetorical/persuasive strategies, structure
(narrative/dramatic/poetic structure, aspects of performance)

5. Topic’s depth/complexity, including explanation of
problem to be addressed, recognition of text’s
conflicts/contradictions (ideological/rhetorical),
creativity and sense of discovery/affective engagement
conveyed—the articulated sense of “what’s at stake, why
it matters” —what difference your essay makes

6. Significance/ conclusion

7. Effective sentences, syntax, verbs, diction,
punctuation, complexity, and suitable style: academic,
critical, appropriate to your understanding of the
materials/subjects; avoids clichés and trite expressions, avoids
overusing prepositional phrases, appropriately concise

8. MLA style—parenthetical citation of sources,
Works Cited; formatting; spelling not graded but noted
at times in body/text of your essay

University of Idaho Guidelines on Academic Dishonesty (including plagiarism)

Advice on Writing Critical Essays

Lessons on Style (general advice/quited dated handout but perhaps worth looking over) [pdf]

Quick Advice on Punctuation (also dated) [pdf]

Summary/Overview of Perspectives on Critical Theory

Online Writing Center Resources (from writing essays to grammar and usage advice):


Purdue OWL workshop/guidelines on using MLA for citation

MLA Quick Guide to Works Cited/citation