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Intellectual and Cultural Sources

This course aims to give students an acquaintance with a selection of works – not necessarily ‘literary’ or originally written in English – which have been either influential in the formation of English literary and intellectual history, or articulate ideas important in that formation. A knowledge of these works is essential for all three years of the degree course. The course suggests some of the main features of the history of European ideas, and encourages students to acquire some capacity for handling conceptual argument. In addition, some, but not all, of the works in this course either actually influenced, or provide interesting comparisons and contrasts with, some of the texts in the Narrative Texts and Introduction to Medieval Language and Literature courses.

Current Intellectual and Cultural Sources texts include the Odyssey, Oedipus the King, Plato's Symposium, The Aeneid, Ovid's Metamophoses, Dante's Inferno, Utopia, Rousseau's Confessions, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, On the Origin of Species, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, Edward Said, and many more.