Project 1 is worth 15% of the course grade and will be produced in a 3-step process:
- initial verbal discussion of plans: week of February 5, during memorization meeting
- in-class presentation of project plans: Tuesday, February 13
- final version: due midnight Monday, February 26
You have three different genre options for this project: a presentation, an analytical paper, or a creative response. Any of these different options can be done collaboratively (in which case you will want to double the recommended length). Each genre option has a different set of expectations:
Your presentation should have a specific purpose and goal, with the presentation crafted to achieve that goal. Your presentation should be grounded in an analytical understanding of the text or texts you’re responding to, and should provoke thought and encourage further understanding in your audience. I would recommend aiming for 10 minutes. You will need to submit a one-page reflection where you explain the thinking behind your different choices, and your overall goal with the presentation.
2. Analytical Paper
This paper can take the form of:
- a close reading
- a source analysis (say, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and the Knight’s Tale)
- a comparison of two different Chaucer texts
- an analysis of a creative response to Chaucer’s writing (e.g. Patience Agbabi’s poems in Telling Tales)
- an extended analysis structured around a conversation with a critical article or chapter on a Chaucer text (such as Lears’ article on Book of the Duchess—though Lears’ article and Lavezzo’s articles are not an option for this project, since we’re discussing them in class).
I would recommend aiming for at least 5 pages (1500 words), double-spaced, not counting the Works Cited page (which you will need to include, of course). Follow MLA style conventions for all text citations as well as for the heading and title (and formatting in general).
3. Creative Response
This creative response can take many forms, among them narrative, poetry, visual imagery (whether conventional or digital), short film, song, live performance, advertisement, children’s book, translation, and so on. The list is literally endless. Whatever response you produce, it will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of the response to the original—which is to say, based on how attentive to the details, themes, style, and so on of the original your response is. You will need to submit a one-page reflection where you explain the thinking behind your different choices, and your overall goal with the response.