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

Editor(s): Tison Pugh, Angela Jane Weisl

Pages: xiii & 217 pp.
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780873529976 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873529969 (hardcover)

"Since the works in question are seldom taught to undergraduates, this wonderful collection of essays will be invaluable to prospective teachers who are eager to share the wealth of the whole Chaucerian oeuvre with their students."
Ann W. Astell, Purdue University



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.

Contributors
Roger Apfelbaum
Lynn Arner
Alison A. Baker
Julia Boffey
Michael Calabrese
Susannah Mary Chewning
Holly A. Crocker
Adam Brooke Davis
Glenn Davis
Alan T. Gaylord
Warren Ginsberg
Noel Harold Kaylor, Jr.
Clare R. Kinney
Peggy A. Knapp
Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine
Scott Lightsey
Marcia Smith Marzec
James J. Paxson
William A. Quinn
Martha Rust
Myra Seaman

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