English R1B

Reading & Composition: Saints and Soldiers

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
15 Spring 2014 Miller, Jasmin
TTh 8-9:30 225 Wheeler

Book List

Burgess, Glyn S., ed.: The 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

Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible (online); Robert Meyer, ed., The Life of Saint Antony (bspace); William Granger Ryan, trans., “Saint Martin, Bishop” in Legenda Aurea (bspace); Kevin Crossley-Holland, ed., The Passion of St Edmund (bspace); Judith Weiss, trans., Boeve De Haumtone and Gui de Warwic: Two Anglo-Norman Romances (reader)


While holy warriors have gained a bad reputation in today’s world, warrior-saints were once a flavor of holy persons popular in England from the Middle Ages up through the Early Modern period.  The lives and deeds of the martyrs, soldiers, and kings that we will read about compose a survey of 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 how did medieval and early modern people represent warrior-saints’ holiness?  Ultimately, we will investigate the techniques different medieval literary genres like hagiography (a genre also known as “saints’ lives”) and romance use to express the holiness of holy people.  Primary texts will be supplemented by a number of critical essays and some historical context.

English R1B is aimed at developing reading, writing, and research skills beyond the specific field of literature.  The primary focus will be on how to find, evaluate, and make effective use of research tools and resources in the context of analytic writing. Writing assignments will include three progressively longer papers (2-3 pages, 5-6 pages, 10-12 pages), combining analysis of primary texts with research from secondary sources.  Strategies for revision will form another major focus of the course, and the second and third papers will include substantial work (and feedback) at the prewriting and draft stages of composition. 


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