English 166

Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2018 Miller, Jasmin
TTh 11-12:30 211 Dwinelle Pre-1800 Requirement
Old English
Middle English
Renaissance and Early Modern
Special Topics

Other Readings and Media

Required Texts:

Aeneid, selection (trans. Fagles, Penguin Classics Deluxe)

Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, selection (trans. Sherley-Price, Penguin Classics)

Beowulf (trans. Heaney, Norton)

St. Patrick's Purgatory (Gardiner, Visions of Heaven & Hell Before Dante)

Sir Orfeo (Treharne, Old and Middle English, c. 890-c. 1450)

Mandeville's Travels (trans. Bale, The Book of Marvels and Travels)

Margery Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (trans. Windeatt, Penguin Classics)

John MIlton, Paradise Lost (Teskey, Norton Critical Edition)


"Britain, formerly known as Albion, is an island in the ocean, lying towards the north west at a considerable distance from the coasts of Germany, Gaul, and Spain, which together form the greater part of Europe." (Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. Leo Sherley-Price)

                                         "The mind is its own place, and in it self

                                       Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n."

                                            (John MIlton, Paradise Lost, 1.255-56)

This is a seminar that explores the various perspectives that writers of medieval and early modern texts use to map the world around them. As we will see, the world looks very different depending on who is telling the story, so class discussion will inevitably draw on textual criticism and historical context to supplement our conversations about how each text builds its own world. Over the course of the semester, we will also keep track of our own map of the medieval/early modern world to see where worlds collide or remain distinct.

The section of English 166 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.                                       

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2019
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Gothic Duncan, Ian
166/2 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Gonzalez, Marcial
166/4 Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class Giscombe, Cecil S.
166/5 Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality Leong, Andrew Way
166/6 Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now Cordes Selbin, Jesse
166/7 Special Topics: Anton Chekhov Muza, Anna
Fall, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia
166/4 Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson Stancek, Claire Marie
166/5 Special Topics Le, Serena
Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Comedy & Violence Flynn, Catherine
166/2 Special Topics: Romantic Science Goldstein, Amanda Jo
166/3 Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey
166/4 Special Topics: Marxism & Literature Lye, Colleen
166/5 Special Topics: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
166/6 Special Topics: Speculative Fiction Jones, Donna V.
Summer, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
166/2 Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern Strub, Spencer
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/3 Special Topics: Black Science Fiction Serpell, C. Namwali
166/4 Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice Giscombe, Cecil S.
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Lye, Colleen
166/2 Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather) Francois, Anne-Lise
166/3 Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy Wagner, Bryan
166/4 Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film Goble, Mark
166/5 Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature Falci, Eric

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