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

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.                                       

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