December 7, 2018

English Literature

As a failed academic, someone who wanted to teach, but never got a full time teaching job; I wanted to move away from teaching composition as a teaching fellow, a slave paid to do the grunt work that the tenured faculty don't want to do, to teaching literature. Now teaching composition is vital and important, and students need to learn how to write, and how to present an argument. If you look at posts on the internet, particularly Facebook and many blogs, you'll find that the vast majority of people can't present a decent argument at all. However, most of us train for, and most of us want to teach literature. The usual place to begin is the survey course, so I've started a survey course. My most recent anthology is the Norton 4th. I won't be spending the money to upgrade to the 10th. I may include matter that may or may not be in the 10th though. As the course is informal, and personal I don't intend to do as much history as I might in a regular course. We'll see how it goes.

What is English? What is Literature?

What is Literature About? Approaches to Literature

Love and Criticism, Caedmon, The Seafarer

Beowulf, Judith, Freddie Slack, Espionage

Swallows, Ravens, Honeytraps, Domesday Book, Becket & Henry II

History & WAG, Toilets & Theater, Death of William the Conqueror

Aeneas, Vergil, Brutus and Geoffrey of Monmouth

Aeneas, Washing Up After the Last Supper, Marie de France

Academic Publishing, Visiting Canterbury, Canterbury Tales Prologue part 1

Black Death, Does Chaucer Make a Third with Dante & Shakespeare, Prologue II

Prologue III, Parson, Plowman, Miller, Reeve, etc.

The importance of story, fabliaux, beast fables, Ocean 11 & Dirty Dozen as plot templates

Black Bile, Story in novels, Chekhov's Law, Opening of Knight's Tale

Chronological anachronisms, disguise (Medieval & Modern), Knight's Tale II

End of Knight's Tale, Greek Myths

Knight's Tale, Dirty words, Miller's Tale I

End of the Miller\'s Tale

Reeve's Tale, Chaucer & Anti-Semitism in the Prioress's Tale, Start of The Wyf of Bath

May 20, 2019

World Literature

As far as we know the first written literature was that of Mesopotamia. There is writing from China that dates to about 2500 BC, but nothing significant that I'm aware of until much later. I'm not terribly interested in the aboriginal writings of North and South America, so I'm skipping stuff like the Popul Vuh, which I haven't read, and have no intention of reading. I'm interested in the literatures of Mesopotamia, India, Japan, China, Greece, Rome, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, and Spain. I'll be talking about those, and about the literature of the United States.


Mahabharata and Ramayana

Hebrew Bible--Genesis


Joshua and Judges






Song of Songs


Jonah, Hosea, Joel

The Greeks-Introduction