This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the study of Anglo-Saxon England from the fifth to the eleventh centuries, its historiography and the range of methodologies and disciplinary approaches applies to its analysis. The class is not intended to be axhaustive. It is meant to be timely and comprehensive. Social and cultural change (and the material evidence for such change), the interactions of local and central authority, and the relationship between economic, social and political history will all recur as issues to be discussed. So, too, will the question of historians' attempts to address the problems of complexity and variation when addressing the development of post-Roman societies in the British Isles.
The central focus of the course is tutorial conversation. In addition, each student will submit three papers of 1,000 to 1,500 words each addressing the subject and attendant reading(s) for a particular week and develop a critical bibliography to be presented formally and discussed in class.
It can rightfully be said that the primary medium for scholarship on late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages is the article, essay or book chapter. This disciplinary characteristic is reflected in the weekly reading assignments. However, we will use the following books during this class:
M. Winterbottom, trans., The Ruin of Britain and Other Documents. Arthurian Period Sources 7 (Phillimore and Co., 1978)
Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English Church and People, trans. R. Collins and J. McClure (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Asser's Life of Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources, trans., S.D. Keynes and M. Lapidge (Pengiun, 1983).
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, trans., G.N. Garmonsway (Everymans Classic Library, 1991).
G.Halsall, Worlds of Arthur. Facts and Fictions about the Dark Ages (Oxford University Press, 2014).
D. Pratt, The Political Thought of King Alfred the Great (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
G. Molyneaux, The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2015).