Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

Second Edition

  • Editors: Peter W. Travis, Frank Grady
  • Pages: xii & 243 pp.
  • Published: 2014
  • ISBN: 9781603291408 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9781603291415 (Paperback)

“A worthy and needed successor to the 1980 edition, this volume charts in comprehensive fashion the goals that Chaucerians now have when they teach The Canterbury Tales and the methods they have devised to achieve them.”

—Warren Ginsberg, Knight Professor of Humanities, University of Oregon

Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was the subject of the first volume in the Approaches to Teaching series, published in 1980. But in the past thirty years, Chaucer scholarship has evolved dramatically, teaching styles have changed, and new technologies have created extraordinary opportunities for studying Chaucer. This second edition of Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales reflects the wide variety of contexts in which students encounter the poem and the diversity of perspectives and methods instructors bring to it. Perennial topics such as class, medieval marriage, genre, and tale order rub shoulders with considerations of violence, postcoloniality, masculinities, race, and food in the tales.

The first section, “Materials,” reviews available editions, scholarship, and audiovisual and electronic resources for studying The Canterbury Tales. In the second section, “Approaches,” thirty-six essays discuss strategies for teaching Chaucer’s language, for introducing theory in the classroom, for focusing on individual tales, and for using digital resources in the classroom. The multiplicity of approaches reflects the richness of Chaucer’s work and the continuing excitement of each new generation’s encounter with it.

Peter G. Beidler
Bethany Blankenship
Michael Calabrese
Jane Chance
Howell Chickering
Andrew Cole
Donna Crawford
Kara Crawford
Holly Crocker
Bryan P. Davis
Martha W. Driver
Robert Epstein
Patricia Clare Ingham
Alexander L. Kaufman
Leonard Michael Koff
Roger A. Ladd
Jacob Lewis
Emma Lipton
Kathryn L. Lynch
Becky McLaughlin
Robert J. Meyer-Lee
Alex Mueller
Florence Newman
Tison Pugh
William Quinn
Larry Scanlon
Nicole Nolan Sidhu
Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi
Timothy L. Stinson
Lorraine Kochanske Stock
Jamie Taylor
David Wallace
Michelle R. Warren
Tara Williams
Susan Yager

Preface

 

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Peter W. Travis and Frank Grady

Editions

Middle English Editions

Translations

Anthologies

Recommended Reading for Undergraduates

Aids to Teaching

Web Sites

Video and Audio Materials

Electronic and Multimedia Resources

The Instructor’s Library

Background Studies

Reference Works

Critical Works

 

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction: A Survey of Pedagogical Approaches to The Canterbury Tales

Frank Grady and Peter W. Travis

Chaucer’s Language

Teaching Chaucer’s Middle English

Peter G. Beidler

The Forms and Functions of Verse in The Canterbury Tales

William Quinn

Teaching the Prosody of The Canterbury Tales

Howell Chickering

Teaching Chaucer in Middle English: The Joy of Philology

Jane Chance

Worrying about Words in The Canterbury Tales

Tara Williams

Getting Chaucer’s Jokes

Andrew Cole

Individual Tales and Fragments

The Problem of Tale Order

Robert J. Meyer-Lee

Chaucer and the Middle Class; or, Why Look at Men of Law, Merchants, and Wives?

Roger A. Ladd

Professions in the General Prologue

Alexander L. Kaufman

Teaching Chaucer’s Obscene Comedy in Fragment 1

Nicole Nolan Sidhu

The Man of Law’s Tale as a Keystone to The Canterbury Tales

Michael Calabrese

Beyond Kittredge: Teaching Marriage in The Canterbury Tales

Emma Lipton

The Clerk’s Tale and the Retraction: Generic Monstrosity in the Classroom

Peter W. Travis

Students’ “Fredom” and the Franklin’s Tale

Robert Epstein

The Prioress’s Tale: Violence, Scholarly Debate, and the Classroom Encounter

Larry Scanlon

Chaucer’s Boring Prose: Teaching the Melibee and the Parson’s Tale

Jamie Taylor

Strategies for Teaching

How to Judge a Book by Its Cover

Michelle R. Warren

Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in the Undergraduate English Language Arts Curriculum

Bryan P. Davis

A First Year’s Experience of Teaching The Canterbury Tales

Jacob Lewis

Teaching The Canterbury Tales to Non-Liberal-Arts Students

Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi

Chaucer and Race: Teaching The Canterbury Tales to the Diverse Folk of the Twenty-First-Century Classroom

Donna Crawford

Making the Tales More Tangible: Chaucer and Medieval Culture in Secondary Schools

Kara Crawford

Producing The Canterbury Tales

Bethany Blankenship

Theory in the Classroom

Reading Food in The Canterbury Tales

Kathryn L. Lynch

Teaching Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with Queer Theory and Erotic Triangles

Tison Pugh

Chaucerian Translations: Postcolonial Approaches to The Canterbury Tales

Patricia Clare Ingham

Chaucer’s Cut

Becky McLaughlin

Performance and the Student Body

David Wallace

Hidden in Plain Sight: Teaching Masculinities in The Canterbury Tales

Holly Crocker

The Pardoner’s “Old Man”: Postmodern Theory and the Premodern Text

 

Leonard Michael Koff

The Canterbury Tales in the Digital Age

 

Designing the Undergraduate “Hybrid” Chaucer Course

 

Lorraine Kochanske Stock

Public Chaucer: Multimedia Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Middle English Texts

Martha W. Driver

Chaucer’s Pilgrims in Cyberspace

Florence Newman

Translating The Canterbury Tales into Contemporary Media

Timothy L. Stinson

Digitizing Chaucerian Debate

Alex Mueller

Afterword

Signature Pedagogies in Chaucer Studies

Susan Yager

Notes on Contributors

Survey Respondents

Works Cited

 

Index