||MW 10-12||204 Wheeler||
"This seminar will read a substantial selection of the best alliterative poetry of the later 14C in England. These works represent an intensive cultivation, during a few decades, of a metrical preference with much deeper roots in earlier English verse, and a short ""afterlife."" We will examine the literary and cultural significance of this brief flourishing of alliterative verse--and the relations of the ""masterpieces"" of the form to antecedent and subsequent writings in this form--as it offers an unusual medieval case of the self-conscious clustering of explicit literary values and ideologies around a formal practice, and the nuanced articulation of relations between forms and cultural meanings.
Students will write a long (~15-18 pp) final research paper, reporting more briefly throughout the term on each of several steps in research and writing. There will also be a library reserve list, and a selection of photocopied material in a reader. "