Introduction to the Study of Literature in English

Course Code :1103FLWTLE
Study domain:Literature
Academic year:2017-2018
Semester:1st/2nd semester
Contact hours:38
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Vanessa Joosen
Hava Rosenberg

3. Course contents *

This course introduces the concept of the canon, "literature in English" and literary history, and then provides a historical overview of the development of literature in English, from Beowulf to the present day.

In addition, students follow 6 seminars in smaller groups where they discuss recent literary texts in English (4 novels and 1 short story), as well as a critical article. In these seminars, we reflect on contemporary forms of canonisation.

Finally, students complete one writing assigment in which they present a short analysis of a literary text.


Programme 2017-2018


Introduction to the Study of Literature in English – 2017-2018


Professor Vanessa Joosen


The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors. Ninth edition, 2 vols. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. New York/London: Norton, 2013.

4 novels (see details below – seminar reading)

Available at De Groene Waterman, Wolstraat, Antwerpen


1st  & 2nd semester:  Monday, 9-10 am (R230)


Contact details:


! Always check Blackboard before you send emails to your tutors !





2/10/2017: Introduction





09/10/2017: Middle Ages I: Anglo-Saxon Literature


            PREPARE  Introduction: pp. 3-25


READ Beowulf (Introduction pp. 36-41; pp. 41-43, lines 1-114; p. 71, l. 1383-96; p. 106, l. 3137-82)



16/10/2017: Middle Ages II: Middle English Literature in the 14th and 15th Centuries


PREPARE   Introduction Sir Gawain: pp. 135-137


READ Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (pp. 137-147; Part I: lines 1-490)



23/10/2017: Middle Ages III


PREPARE  Introduction Geoffrey Chaucer: pp. 188-193


READ Geoffrey Chaucer, The General Prologue (from: The Canterbury Tales): pp. 194-214





30/10/2017: The Sixteenth Century I


PREPARE   Introduction William Shakespeare: pp. 535-540


READ William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Blackboard)



06/11/2017: The Sixteenth Century II  



READ William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Blackboard)



13/11/2017: The Sixteenth Century III


PREPARE   Introduction: pp. 349-379


READ Thomas Wyatt, They Flee from Me, p. 385

Edmund Spenser, Sonnet 75, p. 477

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, pp. 541-542





20/11/2017: Early Seventeenth Century I


PREPARE   Introduction pp. 637-663

PREPARE   Introduction Milton: pp. 768-772 + pp. 799-800


READ John Milton, Paradise Lost (The Verse +          Book I,             lines 1-26 [pp. 801-802];

lines 752-798 [pp. 818-819];

                                                                                   Book X, lines 720-765 [pp. 916-917])


27/11/2017: Early Seventeenth Century II (Guest lecture by Pim Verhulst)


READ John Donne, The Sun Rising, p. 672

George Herbert, Easter Wings, p. 733

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress, p. 751-752





4/12/2017: Restoration & 18th Century I


PREPARE   Introduction pp. 931-958; 1004-1006


READ Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (fragment), pp. 1010-1037



11/12/2017: Restoration & 18th Century II


PREPARE   Introductions Swift & Gray: pp. 1055-1056; p. 1395


READ Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal, pp. 1199-1205

            Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, pp. 1396-1400









18/12/2017: The Romantic Period I


PREPARE   Introduction: Volume B, pp. 3-27

                    Introductions Blake & Wordsworth: pp. 43-46; pp. 124-127


READ William Blake, The Lamb & The Tyger, pp. 58-59 


                        William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads, pp. 135-147; My Heart Leaps Up, p.

178; I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud: pp 177-178






12/2/18:            INTERMEZZO                        Instructions Writing Assignment


            READ Ernest Hemingway, Hills Like White Elephants (handout)



19/02/2018: The Romantic Period II


PREPARE   Introductions Coleridge & Keats: pp. 250-252; pp. 466-469


READ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, pp. 256-272


John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn, pp. 494-496



26/02/2018: The Romantic Period III



READ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself (handout)





05/03/2018: Victorian Age I  



            !           Hand in writing assignment   !


            Submit a hardcopy in class and send a digital version to Hava Rosenberg




PREPARE   Introduction: pp. 533-557; Introductions Carlyle & Tennyson: pp. 560-563; 613-616


READ Thomas Carlyle, Captains of Industry (from: Past and Present), pp. 580-584

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade, pp. 681-682


12/03/2018: Victorian Age II


READ Henry James, Daisy Miller: A Study (handout)


19/03/2018: Victorian Age III (video class)


PREPARE   Introduction Oscar Wilde: pp. 874-877


READ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, pp. 886-929





26/03/2018: 20th Century I


PREPARE   Introduction: pp. 959-982; Introductions Yeats & Joyce: pp. 1057-1060; pp. 1221-1223


READ W. B. Yeats,     Easter 1916, pp. 1068-1070   

The Second Coming , pp. 1073-1074

                        James Joyce,   Araby, pp. 1223-1227





16/04/2018: 20th Century II  


PREPARE   Introductions T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, pp. 1298-1301; pp. 1095-1102;


READ T.S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent, pp. 1330-1336

            T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land” (fragment), p. 1306-1307

            Virginia Woolf, Modern Fiction, pp. 1102-1107

            Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (fragment), p. 1109


23/04/2018: 20th Century III  


PREPARE   Introduction Samuel Beckett: pp. 1353-1355


READ Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, pp. 1355-1411



07/05/2018:  20th Century IV


PREPARE        Introduction W.H. Auden: pp. 1411-1412


READ W. H. Auden, Musée des Beaux-Arts, pp. 1415-1416

Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California (handout)


14/05/2018: 20th Century V  


READ Maxine Hong Kingston, No Name Woman from The Woman Warrior (handout)


21/05/2018       No class.

                        Deadline for questions about the course and the exam. These will be addressed on

                        Blackboard (forum)





ISLE  Seminar Reading 2017-2018



Please check the dates for your specific group in SISA



Seminar 1. (3-9-10-16 0ctober 2017)


READ              “Walker Brothers Cowboy” by Alice Munro (Nobel Prize Winner, short story, Canadian)

                        Norton Anthology, Vol. II. pp. 1458-68.


Seminar 2. (23-24 October / 6-7 November 2017)


READ              On Beauty by Zadie Smith


Seminar 3. Taught by Hava Rosenberg (27-28 November / 4-5 December 2017)


READ              Academic article                                   

Beidler, Peter G. “Chaucer's Wife of Bath's ‘Foot-mantel’ and her ‘Hipes Large.’” Chaucer Review 34.4 (2000): 388-397.

                        Download from:


Seminar 4. Taught by Hava Rosenberg (12-13-19-20 February 2018)


READ              Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee      


Seminar 5. Taught by Justyna FruziƄska (19-20 March)


READ              Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro    


Seminar 6. (23-24 April / 7-8 May)


READ              Paper Towns by John Green