GENG 235: Survey of English Literature I (Beowulf to 18th Century)

Dr. Goode 3 credits

          The main purpose of this survey of British literature from the Middle Ages through the 18th century is to introduce you to major authors and texts of the period while encouraging you to recognize how these texts from the pasthold relevance to our current exploration of the human condition.  The course is divided into three periods,with texts and authors representative of each period and literary movement: the medieval period, the Early Modern period  (16th and early 17th centuries), and the “long eighteenth century” (1660-1800).  We will focus pointedly on issues of class and gender and identity, but will do so through other venues such as politics, family, education, industrialization, religion, work, and sexuality to name a few.  We will pay close attention to the texts themselves as well as the historical contexts within which they were produced.  As with any survey course, many significant texts and authors have not been included. Those works and authors selected for our study, however, give significant voice stylistically and rhetorically to the concerns and issues of their times.

          This class will be taught fully online during the first 4-Week JMU Summer Session (May 19th-June 13th).  As a survey course and as a course including eighteenth-century literature (which is not known for its brevity), a greatdeal of reading and a significant amount of preparation time is required.  Neither can be avoided if you expect to do well in this course.  Although we will not have in-class meetings, for time management purposes, you can expect tospend on average at least 5-7 hours a day on class work: 2 1Ž2 hours doing online activities, and an additional 3-4 hours reading.  Remember, this online summer course, while in lieu of a 15-week semester course or 4-week summer course, must still cover the same amount of time & material.  Thus, each day in this course is considered the equivalent of one week of a standard 15-week course: your workload & the amount of time you spend on this course each day will reflect that equivalency.  Please make sure that you manage your time and your work responsibilities wisely. Getting behind on the readings or assignment requirements will sink your efforts to do well in this course, especially as each section of the course has predetermined assignment due dates. 

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