Eng 101, Summer 2012

English Literature: the Medieval Period to 1650

This course is an introduction to the first eight hundred years of English literature from the Anglo Saxon beginnings to the 1645 edition of Milton’s Poems. After surveying some very early works, such as the Dream of the Rood, we will read Beowulf, one of the greatest epics in the English language, in Seamus Heaney’s exquisite translation. From there we will move to excerpts from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales before concluding in the Renaissance with Milton and Marvell. Throughout the quarter we will be considering just what these texts can tell us about the cultures that produced them, especially their attitudes toward gender, politics, religion, and the environment. What, for example, might “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” tell us about the position of women in Chaucer’s England? Similarly, does the Dream of the Rood, which is–quite remarkably–told in part from the perspective of a tree, tell us anything about how nature and the natural world was imagined?

“Please rate the overall quality of the instructor’s teaching”

Average rating: 5 of 5 (♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent; ♣♣♣♣ Very Good; ♣♣♣ Good; ♣♣ Fair; ♣ Poor)

♣♣♣♣♣ The best professor I have ever had. He cares about his students immensely and offers one-on-one time to students for help. I’ve been at UCSB for 3 years now and I have not met a professor that cares as much for his students as Professor Hiltner. I really hope he teaches another one of my classes.

♣♣♣♣♣ One of the best professors I have had. Truly remarkable teaching style. Makes material easy to understand and great organization. Thank you!

♣♣♣♣♣ Absolutely incredible. I am grateful for the experience. This class has simply improved my life, and I expect it to have a lasting effect.

♣♣♣♣♣ Amazing professor. Very knowledgeable in more than just the points in the course. Compelling lecturer. Very on level with students in the class. A lot of works to read in such a short amount of time.

♣♣♣♣♣ An interesting class, it was definitely different than what I’ve taken before, because of the “Old” English. However, the professor was extremely helpful with questions and helping the class understand the idea. It was too much material for such a short amount of time. In case this class is taught in the future, it’d be helpful if only a couple of poems were selected.

♣♣♣♣♣ Wasn’t my favorite time period of Lit, but Ken made it really interesting. He’s very good at engaging the class and facilitating discussion. His open-mindedness approach to addressing social issues and modern relevancy was great. Would definitely take another class with him!

♣♣♣♣♣ Interesting class! Made Medieval Lit enjoyable.

♣♣♣♣♣ Very sweet and understanding professor. Many interesting discussions and topics in class. Assignment and discussion questions were helpful and intellectually stimulating.

♣♣♣♣♣ Appreciate his method of teaching and his passion for helping students. Also, he takes the time to meet with students individually, which more professors need to do. Enjoyed this course and wish to have more teachers like him.

♣♣♣♣♣ This course, being my first summer class, flew by very quickly. Ken was attentive to our questions as a whole and always did a great job with clarifying (and translating) a lot of our more difficult literature. He was extremely available for office hours and even went out of his way to revise term papers before their due date.

♣♣♣♣♣ This was my first English course at UCSB and I’m glad it was the last course I took. I learned a lot and was able to break across another line and make connections to other subjects through literature. Great teacher, great guy. I would encourage anyone to take a class with Hiltner.

♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent and comprehensive knowledge of subject and context. Made Medieval Literature interesting and intellectually stimulating!

♣♣♣♣♣ Excellent professor, really enjoyed being in his class. He was enthusiastic about what he taught. Helped students whenever needed and was available to help.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great incorporation of broader themes of environment, gender, and religion. Real sense of historical context of texts and their relevance to the modern world. Will gladly take more classes with him.

♣♣♣♣♣ The professor was excellent; he by far exceeds the intelligence of most professors. It is enjoyable and easier to learn from such a learned man. He did not overcomplicate our studies and was a great speaker. I wish I could have taken another class with him.

♣♣♣♣♣ I enjoyed the discussion and the class.

♣♣♣♣♣ Reading material was engaging and the teaching/ learning environment was comfortable.

♣♣♣♣♣ Lectures were very interesting and the readings assigned were fun to read. The question worksheets were very useful.

♣♣♣♣♣ Hiltner is a very respectable professor. Summer courses are always very fast and hectic, but Hiltner provides handouts that keep the students up to date with what should be focused on.

♣♣♣♣♣ Enjoyed this course very much! Great concepts and critical thinking. Really liked how it related to today.

♣♣♣♣♣ Great professor; thanks for a wonderful class! Would take again.

♣♣♣♣♣ You have an awesome amount of background knowledge to offer and made the texts very interactive. There was a little too much reading for so short a time, but I understand why you included everything. Discussion questions were great!

♣♣♣♣♣ Professor Hiltner makes his discussions very engaging. He is quite knowledgeable about the literary works we cover and gives us various, interesting background facts that make class very easy to be interested in.

♣♣♣♣ He was a great instructor and really helped when questions were asked. Great job!

Unrated The class covered so much in so little time that the professor helped immensely with the connections and ideas we were supposed to see. The class framework was great as it offered many views and opinions one can draw from.