English 205B

Old English: Reading Beowulf

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2014 O'Brien O'Keeffe, Katherine
TTh 2-3:30 305 Wheeler

Book List

Fulk, R.D., et al.: Klaeber's Beowulf, 4th ed. (2008)


In “Reading Beowulf” we will be particularly interested in the making of Beowulf as a text and as a canonical poem. The first goal addresses issues of language, paleography, and textual editing as we translate; the second addresses the cultural investments of the last two centuries (and of the present moment) that have shaped our reading(s) of the poem. Attending to the particularity of the poem’s language and the poem’s vexed relationship with the culture that produced it will raise questions about Anglo-Saxon poetics, literary history, and aesthetics; it will also invite other strategies of reading that the members of the course bring to the table. 

The primary text for the course is Klaeber's Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, 4th ed., ed. R. D. Fulk et al.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.    [Note: fourth edition only]

Required critical readings will be posted on b-Space.

Prerequisite:  Completion of English 205A (Old English) or the equivalent.

This course satisfies the Group 2 (medieval through 16th century) requirement.

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