Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: Eligibility for college-level composition (ENGL 1A or 1AH), as determined by college assessment or other appropriate method.
Advisory: Successful completion of college-level composition (ENGL 1A, 1AH or 1S & 1T) or equivalent; not open to students with credit in ENGL 43A, 46A or 46B.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to analyze period literature within the contexts of critical theoretical lenses, including theories of literary structure, history, gender and sexuality, socioeconomic class, race and ethnicity.
  • Students will be able to contextualize the period literature within the beginnings of globalization as an historical and political force inextricable from modern colonialism.


A survey of canonical literature spanning the earliest Old English texts, Middle English period, Early Modern period, ending with Neoclassicism. Texts discussed and analyzed within historical, sociocultural, philosophical, and aesthetic contexts. Specific to this honors course: A higher level of sophisticated scholarship through extensive research and literature review, critical essays, and opportunities for scholarly presentation, student-generated discussions, and self-directed projects. Rigorous application and analysis of theoretical paradigms as applied across these contexts in analysis of canonical literary texts.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. demonstrate knowledge of major writers, key texts and documents of British literature from the Old English period through the late eighteenth century.
B. identify major literary genres, analyze the connections between these genres, and trace the emergence and development of literary forms during these periods.
C. apply relevant critical and theoretical frameworks to evaluate the literature within historical, (multi)cultural, and philosophical contexts.
D. demonstrate orally, and in college-level writing, sophisticated analytical understanding of the literary texts via a range of theoretical paradigms.
E. demonstrate appropriate formatting and documentation.

Course Content

A. Major writers and canonical texts
1. Old English writers and texts (e.g., Caedmon's Hymn, Beowulf)
2. Middle English period (e.g., Chaucer, the Gawain poet, de France, Kempe)
3. Early Modern period (e.g., Shakespeare, Spenser)
4. Neoclassical writers
a. Restoration (e.g., Milton, Dryden, Behn)
b. Augustan Age (e.g., Swift, Pope, Defoe)
c. Age of Reason (e.g., Johnson, Equiano, Burney)
B. Literary genres and forms
1. Old English forms, including elegies, heroic narratives, alliterative verse
2. Middle English forms, e.g., the lyric, verse romance
3. Early modern sonnet and drama, blank verse
4. Metaphysical poetry
5. Heroic couplet
6. Rise of the novel
C. Relevant critical and theoretical frameworks
1. Historical perspectives, including dominant ethical, philosophical, political, religious, social, and aesthetic perspectives in the literature of this period
2. Gender studies
3. Queer theories; sexuality studies
4. Psychological theories (Freudian, Jungian)
5. Marxian and other socioeconomic frameworks
6. Theories of race and ethnicity
7. Postcolonial and neocolonial studies
8. Formalist theories
D. Analytical understanding of the literary texts
1. Class discussion regarding analytical reading of literary texts
2. Composition of extended, theory-driven literary analysis essays on the literary texts
3. Recognition of linguistic differences between Old, Middle, and Early Modern English
E. Formatting and documentation
1. Modern Language Association (MLA)
2. American Psychological Association (APA)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access, ongoing access to computer with email software and capabilities and current internet browser, email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Examinations as determined by instructor
B. Composition of at least two formal literary analysis essays of at least 1500 words each; these essays must be theory-based and research-based in nature
C. Informal assignments as determined by instructor
D. Class discussion
E. Formal presentations (at instructor's discretion)

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Reading and discussion of texts in the British literary canon
B. Lectures on the literature and its historical, social, and theoretical contexts
C. Group projects and presentations
D. Literary analysis, oral and written

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Instructors may choose from anthologies and/or single-author texts specific to the literary periods; must include literary theory text. Examples include:

Cuddon, J.A., and M.A.R. Habib. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Penguin, 2015.

Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature.10th ed. Volume A: The Middle Ages. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2018.

Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Volume B: The Sixteenth Century and the Early Seventeenth Century. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2018.

Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Volume C: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2018.

Stevens, Anne H. Literary Theory and Criticism: An Introduction. Broadview Press, 2015.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading from representative literary texts as assigned by instructor

B. Quizzes on reading comprehension of assigned literary texts

C. Analytical and reader response journal assignments on readings

D. Composition of extended, theory-based, research based literary analysis