English R1A

Reading and Composition: Saints and Soldiers

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Fall 2013 Miller, Jasmin
TTh 11-12:30 222 Wheeler

Book List

Burgess, Glyn S., trans.: Song of Roland; Maclean, Hugh, and Anne Lake Prescott, eds.: Edmund Spenser's Poetry;

Recommended: Hacker, Diana: Rules for Writers, 6th ed.

Other Readings and Media

Online: Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible

Bspace: Robert Meyer, ed.: The Life of Saint Antony; William Granger Ryan, trans.: "Saint Martin, Bishop" in Legenda Aurea; Kevin Crossley-Holland, ed.: The Passion of St. Edmund; Judith Weiss, trans.: Boeve De Haumtone and Gui de Warwic: Two Anglo-Norman Romances


While holy warriors have gained a bad reputation in today’s world, warrior-saints were once a flavor of holy persons quite popular in England from the Middle Ages up through the Early Modern period.  Though not all are canonized (official) saints of the Roman Catholic church, the martyrs, soldiers and kings that we will read about in this course survey the development of the concept of the warrior-saint across the centuries.  Some questions we will attempt to answer in this survey are: what makes warrior-saints holy?  And what did medieval and early modern people look for and try to emulate in them?  We will investigate the narrative techniques different medieval literary genres like hagiography (a genre also known as “saints’ lives”) and romance used to express the holiness of holy people.  Primary texts will be supplemented by a number of critical essays and some historical context.

English R1A is aimed at developing reading and writing skills beyond the specific field of literature.  The primary focus will be on how to identify and analyze textual evidence, and how to construct credible and defensible arguments; while doing so, some in-class work will be designed to improve writing mechanics including grammar, syntax and vocabulary.  In addition to short in-class writing assignments, there will be four longer papers, two of which will be turned in as a rough draft and then revised prior to final submission. 

Back to Semester List