English 180E

The Epic: Imagined Communities and the Classical Epic

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2009 Altieri, Charles F.
Nolan, Maura
Altieri, Charles and Nolan, Maura
MW F 1-2 170 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

Homer, The Iliad, (Fitgerald Trans.); Homer, The Odyssey (Fitzgerals Trans.); Vergil, The Aeneid (Feagles, trans); Dante, The Inferno (Ciardi trans); Paradiso (Hollander Trans.); Milton, Paradise Lost, Norton Critical editions; Wordsworth, The Prelude: Parallel texts. All paperbacks.


Our fields of expertise are medieval writing and modernism. But we are convinced that the classical epic is crucial for a literary education whatever field you specialize in—for the profound experiences it offers and for the range of influences and challenges it has created for subsequent writers of all periods in Western Literature. Each of us will lecture on half the texts, but we also want to spend a good deal of time in conversation with one another and with the class on the best ways of characterizing what matters in the text and what theoretical and cultural issues the reading raises. We envision this as an exercise in the possibility of informed and not always unironic critical appreciation.

This is a G.R.O.U.P. Townsend Center course.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

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