Gower Bibliography

Gower in the Community College Curriculum

McKinney, Carole Lynn. "Gower in the Community College Curriculum." In Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower. Ed. Yeager, R. F., and Gastle, Brian W. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2011, pp. 180-87. ISBN 9781603290999


In spite of the difficulties of teaching "the basics of the literary canon" (180) at two-year institutions, McKinney argues, "Gower's works may provide community college instructors an excellent opportunity to present a deeply realized, potentially engaging lesson" (181). She shows, in particular, how Gower's "Tale of Philomene and Tereus" in combination with Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale" (both included in the "Norton Anthology"), "can illustrate the concept of thematic variance among authors and give students a layered perspective on the political culture of gender relations in the late medieval period" (181). These texts are particularly relevant to community college students: "The need to assign responsibility for, deal with the consequences of, and cope with guilt over types of relationship events similar to, if milder than, those discussed in the 'Tale of Philomene and Tereus' is a need all too familiar for many community college students" (181). McKinney then offers helpful suggestions on approaching these subjects and offers sample lessons on each of these selections, and then on both together. The last, comparative lesson allows "speculative discussion," with references to the texts, of subjects like the following (186-87): 1) the male voice representing women's issues and women's voices; 2) sexuality: shame and reputation; 3) sexual aggression; 4) women's responses to domestic violence; 5) the marital-reproductive contract; 6) the threat of the female voice. [Kurt Olsson. Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 31.1]

Item Type:Book Section
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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