The course will provide a lively and wide-ranging introduction to the literature of the later Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, in a survey that will endeavor to place texts remote from our modern era in their social and historical contexts. For this offering of the course, an emphasis will be placed on the fictional "universes" implicit in various medieval conceptions of the Otherworld and their modern reflexes in works including More's _Utopia_. The discussion will be linked in turn to recent theoretical analyses of boundary-crossing and "liminality." Students will read and discuss important works of prose and poetry from the later Middle English period; a range of poetic works dating from c. 1500 until c. 1800; and -- in an especially close analysis, taking in the whole of range of medieval and early modern traditions -- sections of Spenser's _Faerie Queene_. There will be a mid-term, final, and major term paper.