Term: Spring 2010
Time: 4:00-5:20 p.m. MR
Room: Bliss 235
Prof. G. Steinberg
Office: Bliss 216
Office Phone: 771-2106
*This text is available online at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/rpcabk1fr.htm (Book 1) and http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/rpcabk8fr.htm (Book 8), so you do not have to purchase it if you don’t mind printing a copy of the online version.
†This text is also available online at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/thebfrp.htm (Prologue), http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/thebfr1.htm (Part I), http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/thebfr2.htm (Part II), and http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/thebfr3.htm (Part III), so you do not have to purchase it if you don’t mind printing a copy of the online version.
COURSE DESCRIPTION. This course will examine the flowering of vernacular literature in fourteenth-century Europe. Emphasis will be placed on reconstructing how and why fourteenth-century European writers, such as Boccaccio, Chaucer, and Christine de Pizan, came to create a vernacular tradition that transcended national and linguistic boundaries. Topics covered in the course this semester will include classical and vernacular precursors to fourteenth-century writers and issues of love, sex, and gender.
GOALS. In terms of my goals for this course, I want you
REQUIREMENTS. This course has the following graded assignments:
- 12 two-page response papers (worth 2% of your final grade each or 20% total),
- a mid-term exam (20% of your final grade),
- a formal essay (30%), and
- a comprehensive final exam (30%).
Your final grade will be based on the following scale: A = 93%-100%, A- = 90%-92%, B+ = 87%-89%, B = 83%-86%, B- = 80%-82%, C+ = 77%-79%, C = 73%-76%, C- = 70%-72%, D+ = 67%-69%, D = 60%-66%, and F = below 60%. This scale is absolute. Because the response papers are in a sense a form of extra credit built into this course from the start, I do not give extra credit at the end of the semester to help students raise their grade even a whisker. So, even if, at the end of the semester, you are just .0001 points away from an A-, your final grade will be a B+.
ATTENDANCE. Regular attendance is a virtual necessity for successful completion of this class. Class discussion constitutes important, useful preparation for your graded work. If you miss a class, you will essentially lose out on that day’s contribution to your preparation, since it is never really possible to reproduce or recapture the dynamics and flow of information for a missed class meeting (even if you get notes from someone). If, however, 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. And please, don’t ask, “Did I miss anything?” Check out Tom Wayman’s poem about that question.
OFFICE HOURS. My office is Bliss 216, and my office hours are 2:00-4:00 p.m. on TF. If you cannot see me during these office hours, feel free as needed to call my office (771-2106) or to talk to me before or after class to arrange an appointment at another time. You may also contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you may leave a message for me in my box at the English department offices in Bliss 124. Email is generally the fastest way to contact me in an emergency.
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, go to http://www.tcnj.edu/~helpdesk/Zimbra.htm and click “Forward Email.” Follow the directions there to set up 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 address(es) you’ve selected.
Accommodations. The College of New Jersey prohibits discrimination against any student on the basis of physical or mental disability or perceived disability. The College will also provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to enable students with disabilities to participate in the life of the campus community. Individuals with disabilities are responsible for reporting and supplying documentation verifying their disability, and requests for accommodations must be initiated through the Office of Differing Abilities Services (Eickhoff Hall 159). If you require special assistance, I will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your needs and to create an environment where your special abilities will be respected.
LANGUAGES ACROSS THE CURRICULUM. A quarter-unit (one-credit) Languages Across the Curriculum independent study may be added to this course for those students who have intermediate level proficiency in Latin, Italian, or French and who wish to complement the work in this course by utilizing their language skills. Please visit the LAC website at http://internationalstudies.intrasun.tcnj.edu or contact email@example.com for more information. Students must meet with Dr. Compte to enroll in the LAC independent study by Monday, Jan. 25.
RESPONSE PAPERS. In the course of the term, you are required to write 12 short, informal papers (about 2 pages each) on the readings for class. You may choose for which days you want to write a response paper, as long as you have completed 12 response papers by the end of the term. You should write your response paper before the class meeting at which we discuss the reading assignment covered in your paper and submit it in hard copy in class during that class meeting. For each response paper, choose one of the following topics and analyze the reading assignment for the day with respect to the topic you’ve chosen:
You should have written on each one of these topics at least once over the course of your 12 response papers for the term. Keep in mind that some topics are more relevant to some readings than others (and some topics may not be relevant at all to other readings).
Response papers will be graded Pass/Fail. I ask you to type them (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 one of the topics that I ask you to consider; then, write a response. Don’t worry about typos or comma splices or organization. Don’t worry about answering every question I ask under the particular topic. In fact, focus on the one question that seems most interesting to you, and 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. Normally, as long as you submit a response paper of suitable length, detail, and thoughtfulness (and as long as you submit it in hard copy in class on the assigned day), you will receive all the points that the response paper is worth. The purpose of the response papers is
- to help you in your preparation for class discussion,
- to help me see where you’re struggling with the readings for class,
- to help you develop your intellectual independence and your confidence as a reader,
- to help you explore the relationships among the texts we’re reading, and
- to practice comparative literary analysis (in preparation for your formal essay).
You may submit more than 12 response papers in the course of the semester (to make up for any response papers that do not receive a grade of Pass), but no matter how many extra response papers you turn in, you will not receive credit for more than 12 total. 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. (NOTE: Even if you do not submit a response paper on a particular day, you should still come to class prepared to discuss the response paper topics in relation to the reading assignment for that day, since we will focus on those topics in our in-class discussion; in other words the questions under the response paper topics are a great guide for your class prep each day.)
FORMAL ESSAY. Choose one of the following topics:
To help you think about what to write, consider the topics listed under “Response Papers” above. How does Chaucer relate to his source/analogue in terms of literary relations/intertextuality, genre, social values/function, love/sex/gender, setting, or religion? Choose just one of these areas (or another similar one of your own devising) as your focus. You will submit this paper to me electronically in the “dropbox” in SOCS (not in hard copy or in class). I encourage you, about a week before the paper is due, to submit a thesis paragraph (a draft first paragraph of your paper or just a paragraph that describes what you plan to write about) to me by email; if you do so by the date noted in the course schedule below, I will give you feedback on your proposed thesis before you submit your final paper. Note: You need not use outside sources for this paper (that is, sources in addition to the literary texts assigned); in fact, I would encourage you not to use outside sources (because I'd rather hear what you think than what some published scholar thinks).
Your paper will be evaluated according to the following criteria (in order of relative importance):
COURSE SCHEDULE. This schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the professor. Changes made after the beginning of the term will be shown in red. For each of the texts that we are reading, I encourage you to read the entire work if you are able, even beyond what is assigned below, which represents the bare minimum that you should read.
|R Jan 21||Introductions|
|M Jan 25||Virgil, Aeneid, Books 1, 4, and 6 (available in SOCS)|
|R Jan 28||Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 1 (available online at http://www.theoi.com/Text/OvidMetamorphoses1.html); Apuleius, The Golden Ass, Books 1, 3, and 9 (available in SOCS)|
|M Feb 1||Roman de la Rose, Chapters 6-7 (available in SOCS); Sir Launfal (available online at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/launffrm.htm)|
|R Feb 4||“Stanzaic Life of Margaret” (available online at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/22sr.htm), “The Life of St. Benedict” (available online at http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/whbenfrm.htm), Eustache d’Amien’s “Butcher of Abbeville” (available in SOCS), Jacques de Baisieux’s “Tale of the Priest’s Bladder” (available in SOCS), and Jean Bodel’s “Gombert and the Two Clerks” (available in SOCS)|
|M Feb 8||Dante, Inferno, Cantos I-V, VIII-XI, XIII, XV, and XVIII-XIX|
|R Feb 11||Dante, Inferno, Cantos XXI-XXXIV|
|M Feb 15||Dante, Purgatorio, Cantos I-III, VI-XIII, XIX, and XXI-XXII|
|R Feb 18||Dante, Purgatorio, Cantos XXVI-XXXIII, and Paradiso, Cantos I-III, VIII-IX|
|M Feb 22||Dante, Paradiso, Cantos X-XV, XVII-XX, XXII, and XXX-XXXIII|
|R Feb 25||SNOW DAY! Boccaccio, Il Filostrato, Parts 1-3 (in Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde)|
|M Mar 1||Boccaccio, Il Filostrato, Parts 4 1-9 (in Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde)|
|R Mar 4||MID-TERM EXAM|
|M Mar 8||NO CLASS (Spring Break)|
|R Mar 11||NO CLASS (Spring Break)|
|M Mar 15||Boccaccio, Decameron: the Preface; the Introduction; the First Day, Stories 1-4 and Conclusion; the Fourth Day, Introduction and Stories 1, 4-5, 7, and 9|
|R Mar 18||Boccaccio, Decameron: the Second Day, Story 9; the Third Day, Story 8; the Fifth Day, Stories 7-9; the Sixth Day, Story 9; the Seventh Day, Stories 2 and 10; and the Ninth Day, Story 10|
|M Mar 22||Boccaccio, Decameron: all of the Tenth Day and the Author’s Conclusion|
|R Mar 25||Gower, Confessio Amantis, Book 1|
|M Mar 29||Gower, Confessio Amantis, Book 8|
|R Apr 1||Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Books I-II|
|M Apr 5||Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Books III-IV|
|R Apr 8||Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, Book V|
|F Apr 9||THESIS PARAGRAPH for formal essay DUE (submit your thesis paragraph to me by email at any point during the day, and I will provide you with feedback)|
|M Apr 12||Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, General Prologue and Knight’s Tale
Click here for a rough outline of the social classes in Chaucer’s day.
|R Apr 15||Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Miller’s Prologue and Tale and the Reeve’s Prologue and Tale|
|F Apr 16||formal essay due (submit your paper in the “Dropbox” of SOCS at any point during the day)|
|M Apr 19||Lydgate, The Siege of Thebes, Prologus, Prima Pars, and Secunda Pars|
|R Apr 22||Lydgate, The Siege of Thebes, Tercia Pars|
|M Apr 26||Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, Part I, Chapters 1-13 and 33-46, Part II, Chapters 7-14|
|R Apr 29||Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, Part II, Chapters 47-60, and all of Part III|
|FINAL EXAM PERIOD||FINAL EXAM|
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