ENGH 421: Topics in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

ENGH 421-001: Early Modern Fictions of the Human
(Spring 2023)

12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR

Peterson Hall 1113

View in the schedule of classes

Section Information for Spring 2023

This course will examine the concept of “the human” as articulated through early modern literature. How did writers of the period define the differences between humans and other animals? And how do descriptions of these differences serve to dehumanize groups of people? We will think about how “Man” is not a species but an ideological tool—a strategy of delineating ethical obligations and distributing political power. The human was a powerful fiction then, as it is now. Race, class, gender, and species will be key categories of analysis. Course readings will include an array of early modern texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Margaret Cavendish, and Michel de Montaigne.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Studies selected topics, genres, themes or authors in medieval or Renaissance literature and culture. Notes: May be taken for credit by English or history majors. Specific topic may vary. Primary emphasis is literary or historical, depending on discipline of instructor. May consider relevant material from philosophy, theology, and art. May be repeated when topic is different. Equivalent to FRLN 431.
Specialized Designation: Mason Impact., Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: Satisfaction of University requirements in 100-level English and in Mason Core literature.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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