Geoffrey Chaucer, "Father of English Literature," is renowned for his comic brilliance, his boisterous portrait of medieval England in The Canterbury Tales, and his transformation of English itself into a full-fledged poetic language. He is also sometimes thought of as "modern"-an early feminist, critic of church and state, tolerant of other faiths and seeker of ambiguity and irony over piety and certitude. We will strive to understand Chaucer against the social and intellectual background of his time, as we also explore the "Global Chaucer" who has been translated and adapted across the world. We will read many of The Canterbury Tales and the great romance Troilus and Criseyde, and consider Chaucer's debts to tradition as well as his innovations. As we read, we will consider various approaches to Chaucer's poetry: historical (literary, intellectual, and biographical history), feminist, queer, and postcolonial. No prior experience reading Middle English is required-we will work on getting everyone "fluent" in Chaucer (including oral fluency) by the end of the term. This course satisfies the Medieval historical Requirement.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; EL MED; AR HUM