|ENGL 670 02
Prof. G. Steinberg
Office: Bliss 216
Office Phone: 771-2106
Office Hours: 9:30-10:50 a.m. M
You may use a modern English translation of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde as a crib if you like (e.g., Penguin’s Coghill translation, ISBN 0140442391), but I have not ordered a translation as an official textbook for this class (because I would prefer that you read Chaucer’s Middle English unmediated by a translator).
COURSE DESCRIPTION. How does an author become canonical? In this course, we will try to answer that question by familiarizing ourselves with a variety of theorists on the topic (including Foucault, Bloom, Smith, Jauss, Bourdieu, and Guillory). As concrete examples, we will examine the careers of three “classic” authors (Virgil, Dante, and Chaucer).
GOALS. As my goals for this course, I want you to advance your competence
REQUIREMENTS. For this course, you must complete the following requirements:
I will not figure your final grade mathematically but wholistically. Your seminar paper will, however, be absolutely crucial in my wholistic calculations. I consider the seminar paper to be an opportunity for you to show me all that you’ve learned in class, as you apply what you’ve learned in a new context. For this reason, your participation and your response papers will together only roughly equal your seminar paper in weight when I evaluate your work for your final grade.
Response papers are short, informal papers (about 2 pages each) on the readings for class. You may choose which days and which readings you want to respond to. I ask you to type your response papers (so that they are easier for me to read), but they need not be a perfect, polished product. Rather, response papers should be just what their name says -- a response. Think about the readings that are assigned; then, write a response. Don’t worry about typos or comma splices or organization. Be as specific as you can, getting down as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Treat response papers more like a journal entry than like a formal paper. I don’t want a five-paragraph theme. Rather, I want an exploration -- as detailed and specific as possible -- of the reading assignment for the day. You may not submit more than one response paper on a single day, nor may you submit a response paper for a day that you are absent from class.
ATTENDANCE. Regular attendance is a virtual necessity for successful completion of this class. Class discussion constitutes important, useful preparation for your seminar paper, and the level of your participation in class impacts your final grade significantly. If you positively must miss a class, I expect you to find out what you missed and to come fully prepared -- without excuses -- to the next class meeting.
My office is Bliss 216. My office hours this semester will be 9:30-10:50
a.m. on Monday,
Wednesday, and Thursday. If you cannot see me at this time,
feel free as needed to call my office (771-2106) or talk to me before or
after class to arrange an appointment at another time. You may also contact
me by e-mail (email@example.com),
or you may leave a message for me in my box at the English department offices
in Bliss 124. E-mail is generally the fastest way to contact me in
EMAIL. I may, on occasion, want to e-mail everyone in class. I generally only have access to your TCNJ e-mail addresses, however. As a result, if you regularly use an e-mail address other than your TCNJ address, I recommend that you have mail from your TCNJ address forwarded to the address you use more regularly. That way, if I e-mail your TCNJ address, my message will be forwarded to your other address automatically. To forward mail from your TCNJ address, just go to http://managemail.tcnj.edu/ and click “Mail Forwarding Manager.” Follow the directions there to set up the mail forwarding.
If you would like to send an e-mail message to one or more of your classmates, you can do so through SOCS. To access SOCS, go to http://socs.tcnj.edu and, after you have logged in with your TCNJ e-mail username and password, choose this class from the list of your courses this semester. Then, when our course page comes up, click the “Email” button. From there, you can select individual e-mail addresses or the entire class and send a message to the addresses you’ve selected.
COURSE SCHEDULE. This schedule is subject to revision at the discretion of the professor. All reserve, SOCS, and reference readings are required -- not optional or supplemental. Reserve readings are available from the Reserves Department at the Circulation Desk of the Roscoe L. West Library; eventually, all reserve readings will also be available through SOCS under “Resources.” SOCS readings will be available only under “Resources” in SOCS. The one reference reading of the semester (for December 8) is available in compact storage, downstairs in the library. NOTE: For the reading assignments from Virgil, Dante, and Chaucer, I encourage you to read more than I have assigned (e.g., all of the Aeneid and all of the Divine Comedy). The assignments listed in the schedule below are the absolute minimum that you should read.
|Date||Topic and Assignment|
|M Sep 1||NO CLASS (Labor Day)|
|T Sep 2||Introductions
Reserve reading: John Guillory, Cultural Capital, Chapter One.
|M Sep 8||Literary Value
René Wellek and Austin Warren, The Theory of Literature, chapter XVIII;
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in The Critical Tradition, ed. David H. Richter;
Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Contingencies of Value, chapters 1 and 3;
Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production, chapters 1 and 2.
|M Sep 15||Reception and Literary Influence
Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence, “Introduction” and “Clinamen or Poetic Misprision;”
Michael Riffaterre, Text Production, chapter 6;
Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, chapters 1 and 4.
|M Sep 22||Literary Authorship and Reception
Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” in Image-Music-Text.
Michel Foucault, “What Is an Author?” in The Critical Tradition, ed. David H. Richter;
Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning, “Introduction.”
Richard Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates, “Introduction” and chapter 1.
|M Sep 29||Virgil
Aeneid, Books I-IV
Marilynn Desmond, Reading Dido, “Introduction.”
John Watkins, The Specter of Dido, Chapter One.
|M Oct 6||Virgil
Aeneid, Books VI-VIII, and XII
Reserve reading: Domenico Comparetti, Vergil in the Middle Ages, Part I, Chapters VI-IX.
|M Oct 13||Dante
Inferno, Cantos I-V (Limbo and Francesca), VIII-XI (the city of Dis)
Bible Reading: 1 John (the entire first Epistle of John, not the Gospel of John) and Matthew 5 (just the one chapter)
Reserve reading: Domenico Comparetti, Vergil in the Middle Ages, Part I, Chapters X-XIII, and Part II, Chapter I.
SOCS reading: Marie de France, Lanval.
Bring Virgil to class for each day of Dante.
|M Oct 20||NO CLASS (Midterm Break)|
|M Oct 27||Dante
Inferno, Cantos XV (Brunetto Latini), XVIII (the Malebolge), XXIV-XXVI (Vanni Fucci and Ulysses), XXVIII (Bertran de Born), XXXIV (Lucifer)
Reserve reading: John C. Barnes and Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin, eds., Dante and the Middle Ages, pp. 11-31.
SOCS reading: Bertran de Born in Goldin, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouvères.
Web reading: Brunetto Latini, the opening to Il Tesoretto.
|M Nov 3||Dante
Purgatory, Cantos I-III (Cato and Casella), VI-VII (Sordello), IX-XIII (golden eagle, Oderisi da Gubbio, and Sapìa), XXI-XXII (Statius)
Reserve reading: Teodolinda Barolini, Dante’s Poets, the section from Chapter II on “Bertran and Sordello.”
SOCS reading: Sordello in Goldin, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouvères; Dante, “Amor che ne la mente mi ragiona.”
|M Nov 10||Dante
Purgatory, Cantos XXIV (Bonagiunta da Lucca), XXVI-XXXIII (Guido Guinizelli, Arnaut Daniel, Matelda, and Beatrice); Paradise, Cantos I-II (invocation, little boats, and Beatrice)
Reserve reading: Teodolinda Barolini, Dante’s Poets, the rest of Chapter II.
SOCS reading: Guido Ginizelli in Gioia, Poems from Italy; Arnaut Daniel in Goldin, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouvères.
|M Nov 17||Dante
Paradise, Cantos IX-XX (Folquet de Marseilles, the sphere of the Sun, Cacciaguida, the eagle of justice, Trajan, and Ripheus), XXII (“puny threshing-ground”), XXX-XXXIII (the Rose)
Reserve reading: Michael Caesar, Dante: The Critical Heritage, “Introduction,” #1-#8, and “Texts,” #12 and #14-#16.
SOCS reading: Folquet de Marseilles in Goldin, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouvères.
|M Nov 24||Chaucer
The House of Fame
Reserve reading: Piero Boitani, ed., Chaucer and the Italian Trecento, pp. 7-87.
Bring Dante (all three volumes) to class for each day of Chaucer.
|M Dec 1||Chaucer
Troilus and Criseyde, Books I-II
Reserve reading: Richard Firth Green, Poets and Princepleasers, Chapters 4-5.
|M Dec 8||Chaucer
Troilus and Criseyde, Books III-IV
Reference reading: Skim Chaucer’s reception through about 1500 or so in Caroline Spurgeon, Five Hundred Years of Chaucer Criticism and Allusion, 1357-1900. (Note that this book is not on reserve and will probably not be available in SOCS; it’s part of the Reference collection, which doesn’t circulate, and it’s in compact storage, down in the basement of the library, with the call number PR1924 .A2 1960.)
|M Dec 15||Chaucer
Troilus and Criseyde, Book V
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