English 203: Graduate Readings: Edmund Spenser

Instructor: Professor David Landreth

This course fulfills an elective requirement for the DE in REMS.

Sidney wrote that a poet’s task was to “grow in effect another nature.” No poet in English has fulfilled that charge more luxuriantly than Spenser. The plan of the semester will be to roam around in the leisurely, delight-filled capaciousness of The Faerie Queene, with the aim that each of us find herself at home somewhere in this alienated version of our own world. The tension between delight and didacticism, leisure and urgency, is central to any such accommodation; I’m also interested in questions of materiality and of landscape in the fiction, and I expect our inquiries will be shaped by your preoccupations as well. We’ll take some detours into the shorter poems along the way, and we will try too to reckon with the genocidal despair by which Spenser articulates the project of making a home in the alien terrain of Ireland.

 

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes