Department of English

Abigail Adams


MPhil, Medieval Literature, 2016, University of Cambridge

Contact

Interests


Middle English literature; book history; history of religion and mysticism

Courses


E 314L • Banned Books/Novel Ideas-Wb

35530 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas-WB

 

Instructor:  Adams, A

Unique #:  33435

Semester:  Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description: 

I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. – Envy

          Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

 

Books have been alternately revered as sources of wisdom and feared for threatening dangerous ideas.  Texts in this course have been banned for transgressive representations of the occult, sexuality, and religion.  But they also depict reading as self-discovery and even resistance.  Through our exploration across differing genres (narrative poetry, drama, novel, graphic novel) ranging the history of English literature from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first, we will pay attention to how ideas about permissible literary representation have changed (or not) in different historical contexts.

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will constitute a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative readings:  Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus; Alison Bechdel, Fun Home; Toni Morrison, Beloved; Geoffrey Chaucer, from the Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will be graded primarily on written assignments, writing three short essays, one of which will be revised and then expanded to incorporate secondary sources in order to engage with historical and scholarly contexts.  Students will also be graded on three short written exercises practicing close reading, research, and contextualization; informal discussion posts on the assigned readings; class participation; and a final creative project responding to our readings.

E 314L • Banned Books/Novel Ideas-Wb

34325 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas

 

Instructor:  Adams, A

Unique #:  34325

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description: 

I cannot read, and therefore wish all books were burnt. – Envy

          Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe

 

Books have been alternately revered as sources of wisdom and feared for threatening dangerous ideas.  Texts in this course have been banned for transgressive representations of the occult, sexuality, and religion.  But they also depict reading as self-discovery and even resistance.  Through our exploration across differing genres (narrative poetry, drama, novel, graphic novel) ranging the history of English literature from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first, we will pay attention to how ideas about permissible literary representation have changed (or not) in different historical contexts.

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will constitute a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative readings:  Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus; Alison Bechdel, Fun Home; Geoffrey Chaucer, from the Canterbury Tales, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will be graded primarily on written assignments, writing three short essays, one of which will be revised and then expanded to incorporate secondary sources in order to engage with historical and scholarly contexts.  Students will also be graded on three short written exercises practicing close reading, research, and contextualization; informal discussion posts on the assigned readings; class participation; and a final creative project responding to our readings.

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