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This course pursues a trans-historical approach to literary study while interrogating what makes a literary work "great" within the field of British Literature. It allows students to engage with great works of British literature from across the ages - starting with the foundations of British literary history in the medieval period and extending to the present. Attending to formal, thematic, and historical dimensions of a wide array of literary texts, we will increase our appreciation of the many ways texts make meaning while developing a deep understanding of the British literary tradition. Reading literature with a sense of purpose and comparatively across time will allow us not only to appreciate great works but also to enhance the impact they have on us. Furthermore, we will recognize how culture and politics inform what literary works become deemed "great," thereby developing a critical understanding of the process of canon formation. (Cross-listed with ENGL 8496).

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1150 or ENGL 1160, ENGL 2410 recommended