ENGL 508-01: Critical Approaches to Chaucer

Section Description:

In this course, we will read Chaucer’s major works, The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde, in the original Middle English, while engaging with a wide variety of critical approaches to these works. Part of our work will include training in metacriticism, the ability to critique the assumptions, methods, and productive value of criticism issuing from feminist, deconstructionist, postcolonial, paleographical, historicist and other approaches, including those related to the burgeoning fields of affect criticism and the history of emotion. Contextual material will focus on fourteenth-century England, but we will conclude by taking a global perspective, asking how contemporary authors and critics from Nigeria to China have sought to “make Chaucer new” and relevant to the modern world. No prior knowledge of Middle English (which is really quite easy and fun) or medieval literature is required.