Arts, Sciences, and Engineering English
Course Section Listing Course Course Title Term Credits Status
COURSE_SECTION-3-142926 ENGL 201-1 Old English Spring 2023 4.0 Open
Schedule:
Day Begin End Location Start Date End Date
MW 1150 1305 Morey Room 501 01/11/2023 05/06/2023
Enrollment: Enrolled     
23
Capacity     
No Cap
Co-Located: ENGL 201-1 (P), ENGL 401-1, HIST 230-1, LING 207-1, LING 407-1
Instructors: Steven Rozenski
Description: At the end of the 5th century, after Roman occupation of Britain had ended, invaders from coastal Germany and the Netherlands settled in England and displaced the  Celtic-speaking population. The language these tribes spoke and wrote gives us the oldest witnesses of perhaps the most influential and widely-spoken language in the world today: English. In this class, we will learn to read the earliest records of English (c. 700-1100) by studying the grammar, vocabulary, and poetics of the period. We will explore the variety of surviving Old English texts - elegies, heroic epic, riddles, religious verse, Latin philosophy (translated in prose and verse), Biblical translation, sermons, charms, maxims, and more - as well as the history of book production during the period. By the end of the term, your new facility in Old English will enable you to read, understand, and translate some of the most beautiful poems ever written. No prerequisites for the course; as pre-1800 as you can get. 
Offered: Fall Spring Summer

Course Section Listing Course Course Title Term Credits Status
COURSE_SECTION-3-121894 ENGL 201-1 The Last Kingdom: Alfred the Great and Old English Literature Spring 2022 4.0 Open
Schedule:
Day Begin End Location Start Date End Date
TR 1230 1345 Lechase Room 141 01/12/2022 05/07/2022
Enrollment: Enrolled     
4
Capacity     
No Cap
Co-Located: ENGL 201-1 (P), ENGL 401-1, HIST 230-1, LING 207-1, LING 407-1
Instructors: Sarah Higley
Description: Some of us know the apocryphal story where King Alfred, hiding in the marshes from the Danes, burned the peasant woman’s cakes and apologized humbly. It’s probably not true, but a cult of Alfred, King of Wessex, developed long after his death. This course teaches Old English Literature and Language through the lens of a popular TV series called "The Last Kingdom," about how King Alfred, with the help of a fictional character, Uhtred, defended Wessex from the aggressive Danes. As one of the best of four major film series on Alfred, it introduces students not only to this brilliant 9th-century monarch who prevented Englalond from becoming Denalond, but the historical and poetic literature that his educational reform promoted in the 10th and 11th centuries—contemplative poetry, ghosts, saints’ lives, riddles, charms, medical remedies, philosophy, foreign races, monsters, eventually Beowulf. In both its cleverness and its errors, the first season of The Last Kingdom offers a re-imagining of Alfred’s England, based on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Alfred’s biography by Bishop Asser. Uhtred is an Englishman brought up by the Danes and hence caught between worlds, and he competes with Alfred for fame and fortune. The show takes liberties; we will sort them out. Why have this swashbuckling hero when the story of Alfred is exciting enough? For me his all-too-modern characterization reflects ourselves as scholars learning to read this inscrutable king and England’s exotic literature prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066. For me, his character helps us understand that the term “Anglo-Saxon” deceives one into thinking it is ethnically pure, not culturally influenced as it was by the Norse, the Irish, the Welsh, and the Continent. The central figure will be Alfred and his intellectual legacy, but also the diversity of early England. Introduction to the language: texts read in the original with translations and linguistic help, and an extra weekly hour for students who want a better grasp of it. This course is an excellent extension of History of the English Language, but an introductory one for any student.
Offered: Fall Spring Summer