Spring 2015: R1B, Section 2

Crossing Boundaries: The Other and the Concept of the Celtic

4 units
MWF 3-4
Dara Hellman

This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. Courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be taken for a letter grade.

What do we mean when we use the term “Celtic?” All texts in this course address the question, offering sometimes unpredictably divergent conclusions. We will examine the differing depictions and discuss the boundaries and definitions of “the Other” in contemporary, medieval and renaissance contexts, with particular emphasis on those characteristics that define “the Celtic” in a selection of works by both insiders and outsiders to Celtic identities. The course is intended to provide an orientation to Celtic Studies and to work toward critical engagement with some enjoyable texts and college-level academic essay writing.

The goals of the class are 1) to improve students’ comprehension, enjoyment, analysis, and critical evaluation of different kinds of texts; 2) to build students’ management of longer and more sophisticated writing projects as well as their fluency as writers; and 3) to broaden students’ research skills, using both electronic and traditional media and emphasizing the evaluation of argument and literary evidence. Assignments will include one or two brief writing assignments per week, four formal papers, one of which will be part of a research project on a topic in Celtic Studies (not limited to literature); and an in-class presentation.

Henry V by William Shakespeare
The Mabinogion by Jones and Jones
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (trans./ed. Tolkien)

Poetry by Yeats, Thomas and others, to be announced/assigned

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.