English 246D

Graduate Pro-seminar: Renaissance: Seventeenth-Century Literature, before the Restoration

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2017 Turner, James Grantham
Tues. 3:30-6:30 186 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

My intention is to scan all assigned texts for downloading, from the best available scholarly editions


A sampling of literature in English from 1600 to 1660, a turbulent period of intellectual innovation and political revolution. Key bodies of work will be studied complete – Donne’s Songs and Sonnets and Holy Sonnets, Herbert’s The Temple, Marvell’s poetry before the Restoration satires – while many other authors in prose and verse will be anthologized. Since Shakespeare and Milton get their own courses they will be cited as recommended comparands rather than required reading. The syllabus is necessarily selective, but will include multiple genres – court masque, philosophical treatise, spiritual autobiography as well as standard literary forms such as drama, lyrical and topographical poems – plus works from cultural minorities (women, lower-class radicals, colonial Americans). The focus will be on primary texts, with an austere selection of “classic” criticism from T.S. Eliot to New Historicism. I will ask you for two papers on self-chosen topics, giving you the option of exploring more recent secondary literature if this matches your research interests; this course is designed to be accessible to specialists in all periods, however, so close-reading essays without full bibliography are perfectly fine.

This course satisfies the Group 3 (17th through 18th Century) requirement.

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