Goals: To do some research about a particular time, place, and text and to present that research clearly to the class.
Assignment: The class will be broken into five groups of four people apiece. Each group will be responsible for one of five sections of the course: the early Welsh tradition, the French tradition, fourteenth-century England, Malory, and Steinbeck. The groups will give their presentations to the class of the first day of the sections. The presentations will focus on two areas: questions about the "context" (for want of a better word) of the text and questions to guide our discussion.
Questions to give us context: Where and when was this text written (often a complicated question when dealing with medieval works)? What is going on historically in this time period in this place? What do we know about the authorship of this text? What do we know about the source and provenance of the work?On the day of their presentation, each group will hand out a written summary of the information they have found with an annotated bibliography (at least ten works, no more than half web sources) to everyone in the class, including me.
Questions to guide our discussion: What issues are important in this text? What do people argue about when they argue about it? Is this text representative of a particular type or genre?
Resources: Of course, the introductions to the texts we are reading are always good places to begin. The course web site has links to other resources, including bibliographies of print sources. Most important, we will be having a library session on Friday about finding information.
Welsh group: Fri Jan 12
French group: Wed Jan 17
English group: Thu Jan 25
Malory group: Mon Feb 5
Steinbeck group: Mon Feb 12
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