English R1B

Reading and Composition: V-Chips and Codpieces: Intersexions of Early Modern and Modern Texts

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2005 Brendan Prawdzik
MWF 1-2 221 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"Course Reader

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume I

Outkast: The Love Below [If students cannot purchase this CD individually, I will make arrangements so that it will be available to all.] "


"What relationships can we discover between the Elizabethan sonnet sequence and the contemporary hip-hop record? How have debates about marriage and the domestic scene been transformed and re-shaped into debates about homosexuality and the ?sanctity? of marriage? How does the language of the sexual become influenced, constrained, and directed through social and political pressures? These are just some of the questions that we will address in our examination of Early Modern (defined as sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British) literature and contemporary texts.

We will broaden our conception of ?text? by analyzing, among other things, contemporary newspaper and magazine articles, music, film, and the Internet. Just as the printed text became the medium par excellence of the Early Modern period, a number of entrenched and emergent media forms have radically transformed our sense of the literary, as well as of cultural transmission itself. To focus our examination and to render it all the more relevant to our society, we will specifically scrutinize these texts through the lens of the ?erotic? or ?sexual.? We might understand sexuality as a human universal, but we will work to discover and interpret how eroticism and sexuality have undergone (and continue to undergo) encoding or transformation through forms of ?textual? expression.

In addition to the goal of reading, analyzing, and reflecting upon texts that bestride a four-hundred year period marking the emergence of our modern, post-modern, ?globalized? civilization, we will pursue this examination for the sake of developing the compositional tools necessary for dealing with complex thoughts about complex relationships among rather complex texts. While students will be asked to perform some comparative work, drawing from contemporary, non-canonical materials, they will also be required to discuss Early Modern (16th and 17th C.) texts in each of the essays. We will develop these skills through occasional writing sessions, written assignments, and office hours. This course will also be geared toward refining research skills, and students will complete a longer research-based paper. "

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