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ENGL 297 D: Intermediate Interdisciplinary Writing - Humanities

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:00am - 11:20am
* *

Syllabus Description:

Online Class:  T/Th, 10-11 a.m.      shutterstock_51295495-300x199-1.jpg


English 297D—Introduction to Renaissance Poetry

Explore the Sonnets, Songs, and Psalms of Shakespeare’s Day.

“I am sure I shall turn [a] sonnet. Devise, wit; write, pen” – Shakespeare’s Armado in Love’s Labor’s Lost

Instructor:  Carol Robertson

Class time:  We will meet online!  Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 – 11 a.m.

Zoom classroom invitation link:

Office hours:  Virtual office hours:   Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. and by appointment

Class website:


     What was it like to be a writer or a reader of poetry in Shakespeare’s Day? The boundaries between reading and writing poems may be more fluid than you have imagined. And, what is this thing called “iambic pentameter"? As we explore the development and forms of English lyric poetry—engaging with selections from Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney, Marlow, Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, Donne, and Milton—you will discover why so many readers relish a good poem.  Good readers make good writers!  Expect to sharpen not only your critical-analysis skills but also your ability to construct and support persuasive arguments.  Those who can read poetry learn to uncover implicit meanings, discover bias, and appreciate the persuasive power of language.

     Anticipate this fully online class to be of equal rigor to an in-person class.  Be prepared to engage in interactive class activities during our virtual class meetings, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10-11 am. Online discussion forums and small group collaborations will supplement our class time experience. You will need to check for announcements daily and keep pace with scheduled assignments—while online learning affords more flexibility, self-direction and organization will be essential skills for your success. 

     In addition to assigned readings, viewings, and weekly literary-analysis discussion posts, course requirements include first and second sequence rhetorical-analysis papers, engagement in two group projects, an interpretive poetry reading, and a quarter-end project centered on the reception of poetry with options to please you creatives.  For your final project, you will submit a poetry portfolio that showcases your work throughout the quarter, including five of your short-analysis discussion posts (three of which are expanded and revised to reflect your growth as a reader and critic of poetry). Anticipate both challenge and reward as you discover with us the literary richness of English Renaissance poetry! 

Expect to…

  1. Sharpen your interpretive skills by reading below the surface of words (close reading) to uncover how writers use language to communicate meaning. This class not only provides the toolset you will need to be a literary critic of poetry but also fosters the critical skills you need to find your way in a world of texts!
  2. Sharpen your skills as a writer as you present carefully considered and well-supported arguments in your assigned essays and discussion posts as well as engage in a revision process which responds to instructor and peer feedback.
  3. Learn how readers and writers engage with each other in an intertextual community.
  4. Be rewarded as you develop an appreciation for the literary richness of English Renaissance poetry.

Required Text!  Norton Anthology of English Literature—Volume B: The Sixteenth Century/Early Seventeenth Century, tenth edition): ISBN: 978-0-393-60303-3

Full syllabus: 297DSyllabus.pdf

Class schedule (quarter overview): 297ClassWeeklyScheduleRev-1.docx

Catalog Description: 
Expository writing based on materials presented in a specified humanities course. Assignments include drafts of papers to be submitted in the specified course, and other pieces of analytical prose. Concurrent registration in the specified course required. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
English Composition (C)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
April 23, 2023 - 11:24pm