LITR205 English Literature to the 19th Century

Department of Language & Literature: Literature

I. Course Number and Title
LITR205 English Literature to the 19th Century
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information

he Department of Language and Literature has determined that all literature courses must require a minimum of at least 2500 words in writing assignments.
During the first week of class, the instructor provides students with a weekly suggested reading schedule for the semester.

This course meets the General Education requirement for Arts/Humanities.
This course meets the General Education requirement for Critical Thinking.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course traces the development of British Literature from its Anglo-Saxon origins to the beginning of the 19th Century through the examination of representative literary and historical/cultural texts from a diverse range of writers and perspectives.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. analyze literature through discussion and writing [Critical Thinking];
    2. demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied;
    3. express their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written [Arts/Humanities];
    4. demonstrate basic knowledge of the chronology of authors and literary periods/movements;
    5. interpret literature through the lens of their own experience and through the lenses of various schools of literary criticism ; and
    6. demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of literature of the period to the broader history of British literature and to contemporary culture.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    In addition to the Major Writers, instructors should choose at least two writers from each period. Additional selections may be chosen from the miscellaneous category.

    • Major Writers: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope
    • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval: Beowulf, Caedmon, Sir Gawain, Julian of Norwich
    • Early Modern: Spenser, Marlowe, Jonson, Donne, Wyatt, Sidney, Herrick, Herbert, Marvell, Bunyan
    • Restoration and 18th Century: Dryden, Swift, Johnson, Addison and Steele, Defoe, Gray, Montagu, Behn

    In addition:

    1. Students enter the course both with and without training in verbal analysis of literature; therefore, a subsidiary set of objectives dealing with literary analysis may be imported as individual student needs dictate.
    2. Reading remains the basic learning method available to students although various means of instruction are employed: Lectures, group discussion, mock trials, role playing, individual or group presentations to the class, team teaching, library research, etc.
    3. Through reading, writing, discussion, and various class activities, students identify, explain, and analyze the following: formal elements of the literature, particularly images, image patterns, narrative strategies, diction, and structural divisions of the work; themes and thematic patterns; literary periods, movements, and terms as appropriate to the literature.
    4. The writing requirement complies with Department standards for literature courses, a minimum of 2,500 words. Writing assignments reflect the course goals that students can comprehend, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the literature.
    5. Because there are no prerequisites for literature courses, it is important that students understand the kind and quality of the writing expected.
    6. Students use various critical approaches as ways of assigning the meanings in the work; these include but are not limited to the major critical schoolsâ€"humanistic, ethical, socio-cultural, historical (both the history of events and the history of ideas), psychological, mythical, and formal.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    To evaluate all course-specific learning goals and objectives, instructors may determine the depth and quality of student comprehension and critical thinking through several analytical essays (2500 words total required), exams, quizzes, journals, oral or multi-media presentations, class discussions, conferences with individual students, service learning projects, and other methods as necessary to course content.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Instructors choose from among the following:

    • The Longman Anthology of British Literature
    • The Norton Anthology of English Literature
    • The Broadside Anthology of British Literature

    This may be supplemented with additional readings.
    See individual course syllabi.

Review/Approval Date - 5/99; Core Goals/Objectives added 4/04; Revised 5/2010; New Core 8/2015