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ENGLISH 10D: Introduction to English I: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Early British Literature

How were gender and sexuality constructed and depicted a thousand years ago? How was illicit love depicted? How can women¿s silenced voices be heard? In this course, we'll examine British poetry, prose, and performance from c.600 to 1600 that challenge preconceptions about early people and culture, literary form and function. The readings will show how issues of voice, positionality, and identity are both fluid and surprising in the pre-modern era. We'll study texts written by and about women; texts that center transitional gender and non-binary sexualities; and texts that highlight the tension created by self and society, between being-in-the-world and conventional norms.nAmong the works we'll study (in translation) are Old English and Welsh women's lyrics, saints' lives, guides for confined religious life, romance in French and Middle English, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, sixteenth-century women's poetry and letters, and Renaissance drama.
Terms: Win | Units: 5
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