English 203

Graduate Readings: Judgment in Early Medieval Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2015 Thornbury, Emily V.
W 11-2 305 Wheeler

Book List

Arendt, Hannah: Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy; Kant, Immanuel: Critique of Judgment;

Recommended: Hall, J.R. Clark: A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary

Other Readings and Media

A photocopied course pack.


Judgment--alternately or simultaneously a mental faculty, abstract entity, virtue, void, or threat--pervades medieval literature and thought. Focusing particularly (though not exclusively) on Anglo-Saxon England, in this seminar we will attempt to understand judgment's varied forms in the early Middle Ages, and will work toward developing a critical discourse adequate to the topic and period. Our investigations will include aesthetic judgment; wisdom and ideas of kingship; hermeneutics; and judgment’s role in joining the individual and the communal. We will be reading modern critical and philosophical works alongside medieval ones; primary texts will include Juliana; Daniel; the Solomon and Saturn and Soul and Body dialogues; Maxims I; Judgment Day poems in Old English and Latin, including Christ III; and the Fonthill Letter. Work for the course will entail in-class translation, as well as presentations and a final conference-length paper.

Prerequisite: strong reading knowledge of Old English.

This course satisfies the Group 2 (Medieval through Sixteenth Century) requirement.

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