English 434

ENGL 434
Seventeenth Century Literature

Catalog Entry

ENGL 434. Seventeenth-Century Literature
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: CORE 101 and CORE 102

Introduction to varied prose and poetry of 17th century. Special attention to the works of Milton.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Study of selected poetry, prose, and drama of Pre-Restoration seventeenth-century England within the historical and cultural contexts of the period. Attention to poetics and poetic theory in general and to seventeenth-century poetics and poetic theory in particular. Consideration of critical approaches to seventeenth-century literature (e.g., historical, formalist, reader-response, feminist, new historicist, Marxist, poststructuralist, etc.)


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

  • Students read a substantial portion of the literature of the period as well as representative samples of literary criticism reflecting current critical theory.
  • Through independent research, reading in secondary texts and ancillary lectures, students become acquainted with the historical and cultural contexts of the period.
  • Writing requirements may include informal writing such as reading journals, reader’s logs or impromptu in-class free-writing.
  • Formal writing may include essay examinations, both take-home and in-class; critiques of primary and/or secondary texts; analytical essays; research projects culminating in the completion of a research paper.
  • Students may be asked to share what they are learning about the research process through in-class group work, oral progress reports, and a final oral report on the completed paper.
  • Format: Some combination of the following: lecture; student-led discussion; small group activity, including in-class writing group activities; and oral presentations by students.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The primary objective of this course is to make students knowledgeable about Pre-Restoration seventeenth-century British literature. To develop a broader perspective on this body of literature, students should also acquire some familiarity with the culture and history of the period. And to deepen their understanding of and appreciation for this literature, students should become acquainted with a variety of critical approaches commonly applied to the works of this period (e.g., historical, formalist, reader-response, feminist, new historicist, Marxist, poststructuralist, etc.).


Assessment Measures

Students’ knowledge of the literature of this period, their understanding of its historical and cultural contexts, and their familiarity with a variety of critical approaches to it may be assessed in a variety of ways including, but not necessarily limited to, the following: written and oral examinations; formal and informal writing assignments; completion of research projects culminating in scholarly essays or in-class presentations; imitations of selected works; oral presentations; participation during class discussions and in peer group activities.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

October, 2009