Topics in Literature: Beowulf in Anglo-Saxon Culture & Modernity

Course Number: ENGL 165BW
Prerequisites: Writing 2 or upper-division standing
Advisory Enrollment Information: May be repeated for credit providing letter designations are different.
General Education Areas Fulfilled: GE Area G Requirement, Writing Requirement
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 165AA-ZZ
Quarter: Spring 2011
Instructor:
Day(s): MW
Time: 12:30PM - 1:45PM
Location: SH 1415
Description:

May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 28 units provided letter designations are different.
This class explores the epic poem, Beowulf, in relation to both Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-American literature and culture. The first half of the class focuses on a close reading of Beowulf (in translation) in conjunction with critical articles that focus on the archaeology, history, and culture of the Anglo-Saxon period. The second half of the quarter then sets out to question why Beowulf still matters and whether or not the Anglo-Saxon epic hero is still relevant in a post-Anglo Saxon 21st century. To work out these issues, we will begin, of course, with J.R.R. Tolkien, followed by modernists, Ezra Pound and W.H.Auden. Then we'll turn to mid-twentieth and early twenty-first century poets such as Earle Birney, Richard Wilbur, Jane Holland, John Haynes, Christopher Middleton, Jane Draycott, and Denise Levertov. Topics may include Anglo-Saxonism and nostalgia, world war and anxiety, mid-century suburbanism, and the post-9/11 era.