English R1B

Reading and Composition: The English of France

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Spring 2013 Perry, R. D.
MWF 12-1 225 Wheeler

Book List

Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot: Bilingual Edition; Chaucer, Geoffrey: Dream Visions and Other Poems; Gower, John: The French Balades; Shakespeare, William: Henry V

Other Readings and Media

Additional primary readings on b-space from John Gower, Thomas Hoccleve, John Lydgate, Christine de Pizan, and someone who may be Geoffrey Chaucer.  Secondary material also on b-space by James Simpson, D. Vance Smith, Ardis Butterfield, Fredric Jameson, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, and Hannah Arendt.

Films: Carl Theodor Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc, Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, Laurence Olivier's Henry V, and Bela Tarr's The Man from London.


To say that the English have a complicated relationship to their French neighbors is probably a bit of an understatement.  There has historically been a great deal of political cooperation between these two nations, but there has been a great deal of animosity and cultural chauvinism as well.  Part of the complexity springs from the fact that the two almost became one nation at several different points in their shared history.  This course will focus on the way that complex political and cultural relationship emerges in works of art.  In some instances, the works will be thematically interested in this relationship, and in other instances international politics will help shape the work’s formal characteristics.  Although we will be interested in the long historical development of this relationship, we will pay particular attention to the medieval period, especially those years during the Hundred Years War, the period where the difference between England and France is least distinct. 

So, international relations are the subject of our course, but not the work of the course.  The purpose of R1B is to focus on your writing, specifically in the form of research papers.  We will spend a lot of time in class talking about how one uses material of one sort (perhaps historical, or from political theory) to discuss work of another sort (literary, in this instance).  We will discuss the basics of research methods and how best to incorporate research into the shaping of an argument.  You will write 3 different papers over the course of the semester.

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