Approaches to Teaching Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems

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Tison Pugh, Angela Jane Weisl
Modern Language Association, 2007 - Literary Collections - 217 pages
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This Approaches to Teaching volume aims to provide students with a vision of Chaucer that highlights the great variety, breadth, and depth of his entire body of work. Although Chaucerians recognize that Troilus and Criseyde and the shorter poems are as entertaining and complex as the more familiar Canterbury Tales, teachers of medieval English do not readily include these texts in their courses. The materials collected here offer instructors ideas and strategies for making Chaucer's lesser-taught works as memorable and engrossing for students as any of the narrative gems in Canterbury Tales.

Part 1, "Materials," discusses available teaching resources, focusing not only on the many editions of Chaucer's works in Middle English but also on translations for teachers whose students turn to modern English as a study aid.

The essays in part 2, "Approaches," begin by exploring the poetry's backgrounds, including sources and genre; the growth of the English vernacular as a literary language; Chaucer's conception of history in its Christian, classical, and English political senses; the role of manuscript study in illuminating the historical record; and Chaucer's representation of gender. The section on teaching the poems features essays that offer suggestions for overcoming students' difficulties with Middle English, consider the relation between Chaucer and his readers, assess various theoretical models, and show how a wide range of visual imagery can be used in the classroom. A final section on course contexts includes essays on teaching these poems for the first time, as well as designing classes for nonmajors and graduate students. The volume concludes with an appendix on reading Chaucer aloud with students.

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Aids to Teaching
A Survey of Pedagogical Approaches to Troilus

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About the author (2007)

Tison Pugh is associate professor at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of Queering Medieval Genres and articles on medieval literature and sexuality. He has won teaching awards at the University of Oregon and the University of California, Irvine, as well as a University of Central Florida College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Angela Jane Weisl is associate professor of English at Seton Hall University. She is the author of Conquering the Reign of Femeny: Gender and Genre in Chaucer's Romance and The Persistence of Medievalism: Narrative Adventures in Contemporary Culture.

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