30.4xx The Birds and the Bees: Animals in Early English Literature

This course considers the role of animals in early English literature. Animals were farmed, hunted, feared, and revered, and they infiltrated all forms of literature. From the Middle Ages to the 18th century, what people knew, understood, and believed about animals was constantly shifting, and those shifts appear in the literature of the time period. This seminar course may consider such texts as Beware the Cat, The Duchess of Malfi, and selections from early modern broadside ballads to consider: what is an animal? What do animals tell us about early English society, literature, and culture? What is the relationship between animal, human, environment, God, state, etc.?

Prerequisite: 12 credit hours of English literature (ENGL) or permission of instructor.