Anglo-Saxon Language, Literature, and Culture


English 373R    Fall 2013

Utah Valley University



Instructor: Dr. Rick McDonald            Office Phone: 863‑8365

Office: LA 126f        Hours: 1:00-2:00                                  M, W, & F and by appointment.

ENGL 373R-001      MWF   11-11:50                       Room: LA 102

Email:                Web Pages:


I am readily available to students on email and respond during the week within 24 hours of

receiving an email.  Please have your UVU email account set or forwarded to an

address that you check regularly. We will use UVU email, canvas, and my webpages as part

of this course.



Old English Grammar and Reader Robert E Diamond  ISBN  0-8143-1510-0

The Anglo-Saxons James Campbell ISBN  0-14-014395-5

Beowulf (Dual Language Edition) Howell Chickering ISBN  0-385-06213-3

The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel G. Ronald Murphy ISBN  0-19-507375-2

Optional but Highly Useful (and recommended):

A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary 4th edition Clark Hall ISBN 0-08020-6548-1


Articles on Electronic Reserve:  Password = mcdonaldengl373r –see class calendar




·       Students will gain a rudimentary knowledge of the Old English language and learn translation skills.

·       Students will learn to read and evaluate primary and secondary texts concerning British Literature from AD 450 to 1100 (the Anglo-Saxon period).

·       Students will learn about the historical, social, and cultural milieu leading up to and including the Anglo-Saxon period.

·       Students will develop their own readings and understanding of the various sources through study of cultural, historical, and social factors affecting the texts under consideration.

·       Students will participate in group projects, discussions, and brainstorming activities to mine deeper meanings from the text and present their findings to the class in various forms.





This course has grown out of student interest in the Anglo-Saxon period.  We will explore History, Culture, Literature and Language as it relates to understanding Anglo-Saxon England and the people who made up Anglo-Saxon England.  You will be expected

to learn rudimentary Anglo-Saxon translation and language skills, study Anglo-Saxon history and culture, and engage with Anglo-Saxon Texts in a number of ways.   Basically, this course will consist of ¼ language learning; ½ literary exploration; and ¼
history and culture. As the nature of this course evolves, I hope we leave behind a trail from which future students may benefit.  





Directed Assignment Responses and Quizzes:

You will do short grammatical, historical, and interpretive projects to show your facility with the subject matter. In class quizzes may not be made up by absent or tardy students.


Oral Readings:

You will be asked to read a short passage aloud for a grade at least three times during the semester.


Translation and Explanation Short Responses:

You will do five short translations 6-15 lines of Anglo-Saxon accompanied by a 100-300 word explanation of your translation and comparison of it to other sources.


Long Translation:

You will do one long translation (50 + lines) of an Anglo-Saxon piece, accompanied by a 3-5 page discussion of your translation.


Source Projects:

You will present one outside source concerning Anglo-Saxon culture, history or social structures to the class for their edification. You will hand in a 1-2 page summary of what you present.


Group project:

Possibly open to negotiation with the class—In the past we have had:

As part of a 2-5 member group you will investigate and report on aspects of Anglo-Saxon life and language.  Your group will produce a web project which informs students and the general public about aspects of Anglo-Saxon life, language, and literature.

  This project will be the equivalent of 7+ pages of work per group member.  I will help as much as possible with this.  Groups will be asked to publish their work to the web–barring objections.


Final Exam:

You will have a final exam where you discuss what you have learned as a result of this course and where you evaluate the work of yourself, your group, the class as a whole, and the professor.




You will be expected to participate in a significant amount of group work. Often, you will present your group findings to the class as a whole. It is essential you make every effort to work well with your group.  If you are having any difficulties or are ever
unsure of what you are required to do, ask a question!




Learning about the beginnings of the English language and its culture and literature is what this course is about.  You should leave this class with significant knowledge about the earliest manifestations of what we call English.  We will prove the importance of

studying Anglo-Saxon topics through the course of our endeavors, and we should have lots of fun as well.




I will try to ensure that this class is not overly burdensome.  You need to take the quizzes as they come and do your best.  The class should be fun and challenging, but talk to me if the work becomes onerous.  We will have multiple opportunities for a number of

 assignments, but don’t leave things until the end or you’ll create self-imposed overwork–which rarely elicits sympathy from me.    






Assignments and Quizzes (numerous-- lowest dropped)




Three Oral readings




5  Short Translation Responses (11 opportunities)




Long Translation and explanation




1-2 Source Projects and Presentations




Group Web Project




Final Exam (Wednesday December 18th   11am -12:50 pm)







A  =      93+    


C  =        76


A- =      90


C- =        74


B+ =     88


D+ =       72


B =      84


D =       68


B- =     82


D- =      65


C+ =   80


F  =      <65




Below you will find an excerpt from the UVU Student Rights and Responsibilities Code concerning Plagiarism and Cheating. Either activity can result in a failing grade in this class. Each student is expected to maintain academic ethics and honesty in

 all its forms, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism as defined hereafter:


               Cheating is the act of using or attempting to use or providing others with unauthorized

               information, materials or study aids in academic work. Cheating includes, but is not

               limited to passing examination answers to or taking examinations for someone else, or

               preparing or copying other's academic work.


               Plagiarism is the act of appropriating any other person's or group's ideas or work

               (written, computerized, artistic, etc.) or portions thereof and passing them off as the

               product of one's own work in any academic exercise or activity.




If you have any disability which may impair your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Accessibility Services Department (Room WB‑146). Academic accommodations are granted for all students who have qualified,

documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the Accessibility Services Department.



     **************************** ATTENTION **************************


We are all in this class together.  You are probably the only undergraduates in Utah studying Anglo-Saxon in the original.  Let’s be dedicated to our task and help each other to learn.  I will help anyone who lets me know that they need it.