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

  • Editors: Tison Pugh, Angela Jane Weisl
  • Pages: xiii & 217 pp.
  • Published: 2006
  • ISBN: 9780873529976 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9780873529969 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching Chaucers Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems Cover

“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.

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

Preface to the Series (ix)

Preface to the Volume (xi)

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Tison Pugh and Angela Jane Weisl

Editions

Middle English Editions (3)

Translations (5)

Anthologies (6)

Required and Recommended Reading for Undergraduates (7)

Aids to Teaching

Web Sites (9)

Video and Audio Materials (11)

Electronic and Multimedia Resources (11)

The Instructor’s Library

Background Studies (13)

Critical Works (15)

Reference Works (19)

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction: A Survey of Pedagogical Approaches to Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems (23)

Tison Pugh and Angela Jane Weisl

Teaching the Backgrounds

The Short Poems: Sources, Genres, and Contexts (27)

William A. Quinn

Chaucer and the French Tradition (33)

Karla Taylor

Boccaccio’s Il Filostrato, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, and Translating the Italian Tradition (38)

Warren Ginsberg

Boethius, Dante, and Teaching Aspects of Chaucer’s Tragedy (43)

Noel Harold Kaylor, Jr.

Chaucer and Vernacular Writing (50)

Susannah Mary Chewning

Troilus and Criseyde and Chaucer’s Shorter Poems: Paleography and Codicology (56)

Julia Boffey

The Pagan Past and Chaucer’s Christian Present (61)

Scott Lightsey

Contemporary English Politics and the Ricardian Court: Chaucer’s London and the Myth of New Troy (66)

Alison A. Baker

Trust No Man but Me: Women and Chaucer’s Shorter Poetry (71)

Lynn Arner

Teaching Masculinities in Chaucer’s Shorter Poems: Historical Myths and Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale (76)

Holly A. Crocker

Teaching the Poems

Suggestions for Rehearsing the Short Poems in Class (81)

William A. Quinn

Chaucer and the Critical Tradition (87)

Glenn A. Steinberg

Small Texts, Large Questions: Entering Chaucerian Poetics through the “Miscellaneous” Poems (92)

Carolynn Van Dyke

Teaching Chaucer’s Postmodern Dream Visions (97)

Myra Seaman

A Guide to Teaching The Legend of Good Women (101)

Michael Calabrese

Chaucer’s Dialogic Imagination: Teaching the Multiple Discourses of Troilus and Criseyde (107)

Clare R. Kinney

Philology, History, and Cultural Persistence: Troilus and Criseyde as Medieval and Contemporary (112)

Peggy A. Knapp

Chaucer and Gender Theory (117)

Angela Jane Weisl and Tison Pugh

“Made and Molded of Things Past”: Intertexuality and the Study of Chaucer, Henryson, and Shakespeare (122)

Roger Apfelbaum

Triform Chaucer: Deconstruction, Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Troilus and Criseyde (127)

James J. Paxson

A Primer for Fourteenth-Century English and Late Medieval English Manuscript Culture: Glossing Chaucer’s “An ABC” (133)

Martha Rust

Two Forms, Two Poetic Stages, Developing Voices: The Romaunt of the Rose and The Parliament of Fowls (138)

Alan T. Gaylord

“In Forme of Speche Is Chaunge”: Introducing Students to Chaucer’s Middle English (144)

Barbara Stevenson

Visual Approaches to Chaucer (149)

Glenn Davis

Teaching Chaucer without (or with) Translations: An Introduction to Othon de Grandson’s “Les cinq balades ensuivans” and Chaucer’s “The Complaint of Venus” (154)

Jean-François Kosta-Théfaine

Course Contexts

Notes on a Journey: Teaching Chaucer’s Shorter Poems and Troilus and Criseyde for the First Time (159)

Jenifer Sutherland

Overcoming Resistance to “That Old Stuff”: Teaching Troilus and Criseyde through Journaling and Debate (165)

Marcia Smith Marzec

“Diverse Folk Diversely They Seyde”: Teaching Chaucer to Nonmajors (170)

Adam Brooke Davis

Chaucer’s Early Poetry in Graduate Seminars: Opportunities for Training Future Chaucer Teachers and Molding “Yonge, Fresshe Folkes” into Publishing Scholars (175)

Lorraine Kochanske Stock

Appendix

Suggestions for Reading Chaucer Out Loud in the Teaching of Chaucer’s Poetry (180)

Alan T. Gaylord

Notes on Contributors (185)

List of Survey Participants (189)

Works Cited (191)

Index (215)