The final exam (worth 20% of your grade for the course) will be on Thursday, May 4, 12-3pm.
Because the exam is taken in OAKS, you may take the exam wherever suits you—including our classroom—though you will need to have internet access (and a computer) for the entire time. If you had any trouble submitting your exam last time, I encourage you to take the exam in the classroom. (You may also write your response by hand and submit it to me in the classroom by 3pm.) You will have the full 3 hours to take the exam, though the exam is designed to require something closer to 2 hours.
In the first part, you will respond to 4 (of 6) prompts on the exam, based on the second half of the course. Each will require a response of 300-500 words, in the form of a 2-3 paragraph response, akin to your weekly blog posts but more formal and perhaps more carefully planned and proofread than blogposts sometimes are. They will, of course, also be more carefully directed (thanks to the prompts) than are your weekly blogposts. Each will be worth 20% of the exam grade.
In the second (cumulative) part, you will write a longer response (choosing 1 of 2 prompts) that will be worth the final 20% of the grade. This response will engage with material from the entire course. You will be expected to discuss larger themes of the course (rather than very specific moments in a given particular text from the first half).
The purpose of the exam is to allow you the chance to demonstrate, in a written setting rather than the usual oral setting of classroom discussion, your facility with the materials we have been engaging with. Unlike in your papers, for the exams you work not with one extended argument but instead call on different elements of the critical and literary texts we’ve been discussing as you address a range of issues in the various prompts.
As you prepare, I encourage you to keep the course’s focus on “Medieval Natures” at the forefront of your attention, and to return to your notes from class to help highlight that focus in each text. I also encourage you to list the texts from the class (see below) in chronological order, which is not the order in which we read them. Doing that will help prevent you from thinking, even implicitly, that The Táin is the youngest, rather than one of the oldest, of the texts simply because we read it last. I encourage you to group them according to the language (Old English, Irish, Anglo-Norman, Middle English) in which they were written, since we read most of the texts in translation. This will encourage you to consider the texts both culturally and chronologically.
**An extra credit opportunity exists to earn up to 5 extra points on your final exam grade by posting to the blog a question you would like to see on the exam itself. The question could be for either Part 1 or Part 2 of the final. To get full credit, you need to indicate which section of the exam it would best suit. These are due Monday, May 1 at 10am.**
Following are the texts that will be covered in Part 1:
Gerald of Wales, History and Topography of Ireland (parts 1 and 2)
“The Disputation Between the Body and the Worms”
“The Wanderer,” “The Seafarer,” “Dream of the Rood”
Chaucer, Franklin’s Tale
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The Towneley First Shepherds’ Play
The Towneley Second Shepherds’ Play
The Chester Play of the Shepherds
Steel, “With the World, or Bound to Face the Sky: The Postures of the Wolf-Child of Hesse”
Add the following, for Part 2:
Marie de France, Guigemar, Bisclavret, Yönec, Laüstic, Eliduc
Anglo-Norman Voyage of St. Brendan
Chaucer, Book of the Duchess
Chaucer, Parliament of Fowles
Henryson, “Prologue,” “The Lion and the Mouse,” “The Preaching of the Swallow,” “The Fox, the Wolf and the Carter,” “The Fox, the Wolf and the Farmer,” “The Toad and the Mouse”
Marie de France, Fables “Prologue,” fables 1-5, 9, 11A, 11B, 13, 14, 21
Garrard 1: “Beginnings: Pollution”
Garrard 2: “Positions”
Garrard 7: “Animals”
Cohen, “Inventing with Animals in the Middle Ages”