Early British Literature and Media
This course proposes that how we encounter literature matters. It suggests that the same poem can be understood quite differently if it is recited at Freeword or assigned in an anthology or skimmed on a phone. This course accordingly surveys how the founding texts of British literature were first encountered and how we encounter them now.
ENG 340 examines the ways that texts of early British literature were initially produced and consumed: oral performances of epic poetry, amateur and professional theatrical productions, the first printed books, handwritten texts circulated as intimate alternatives to print, chapters of novels published in issues of magazines, words embedded in visual art and set to music. ENG 340 also examines where we find early British literature now, in modern scholarly editions, film adaptations, digitized versions of medieval and early modern artifacts, even greeting cards and t-shirts.
As the course spans diverse scenes of reading, listening, and looking, both now and long ago, it raises broad questions of how culture is produced and consumed and urgent questions of access and privilege.
Satisfies a requirement in the Global Literary Theory major and interdisciplinary minor.