Teaching Chaucer


Sara j:
Any one out there have some spectacular ideas for teaching Chaucer to undergraduates? I'm designing a course for next semester and this is a bit out of my area (I'm a Renaissance person). Any suggestions on works outside The Canturbury Tale to include that have worked well for you? Or ways to overcome undergraduates' troubles with Middle English? Or particular activities or questions that caught your students' interests? Thanks for any suggestions.


Asst. prof. in music:
What about bringing in other works like the prose Brut? There is an excellent recording of a very vivid excerpt read by Professor Daniel Donoghue of Harvard:


I highly recommend this, as well as his material on Middle English and Chaucer in general.

What about taking a more interdisciplinary approach to bring the students into the fold? I am a musicologist and when I teach, I try to make connections with other fields. For job talks and also in class I have taught the medieval secular canon "Sumer is icumen in," which is also in Middle English. I make them learn the text and teach them the canon and that is always a hoot.  

I think students should see that with a little imagination, they can actually understand a lot of Middle English!


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