English 615 Studies in Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Phone: 334-3282 (voice mail available); fax, 334-3281; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours: Tuesday/Thursday, 12:30-1:30 p. m.; Wednesday, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
You are welcome to visit my office at any point during the semester and to schedule an appointment outside of my usual office hours.
Student Learning Goals
After completing the course, you should
--have an increased knowledge of British literature and culture in the early eighteenth century;
--be able to read early eighteenth-century texts with better understanding of their formal concerns and their cultural contexts (especially gender, class, authorship, and print culture);
--have an increased knowledge of current critical issues informing study of these texts;
--be able to write, speak, and conduct research effectively about these texts.
M. H. Abrams & Stephen Greenblatt, ed. Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1C: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (Norton) NAEL
Susanna Centlivre, A Bold Stroke for a Wife (Broadview)
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin)
Eliza Haywood, Love in Excess (Broadview)
Paddy Lyons & Fidelis Morgan, ed. Female Playwrights of the Restoration (Dent)
Erin Mackie, ed. The Commerce of Everyday Life: Selections from the Tatler and the Spectator
(Bedford Cultural Edition)
Handouts for texts by Mary Astell, Anne Finch, Lady Mary Montagu
Assignments for class discussion
Comic Drama (1) August 22, 27, 29; September 3
Congreve, The Way of the World (NAEL)
Centlivre, The Basset Table, The Busy Body (Female Playwrights)
Cultural Criticism September 5, 10, 12, 17
Astell, selections from A Serious Proposal to the Ladies and Reflections upon Marriage (handout)
Addison and Steele, selections from The Tatler and The Spectator (Mackie, Commerce of Everyday Life)
Poetry September 19, 24, 26; October 1, 3
Pope, The Rape of the Lock, An Essay on Criticism, Eloisa to Abelard (all in NAEL); selections from Windsor Forest (Mackie)
Finch, “The Introduction,” “A Nocturnal Reverie” (both in NAEL); “Ardelia’s Answer to Ephelia,” “The Spleen,” “Friendship Between Ephelia and Ardelia,” “To Mr. F. Now Earl of W.,” “To the Nightingale,” “A Letter to Daphnis,” “The Unequal Fetters,” “Clarinda’s Indifference at Parting with Her Beauty” (all handouts)
Novels October 8, 10, 17, 22, 24
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin)
Haywood, Love in Excess (Broadview)
Travels October 29, 31; November 5, 7, 12
Montagu, selections from Turkish Embassy Letters (handout)
Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (NAEL)
Swift, “A Description of a City Shower,” “The Lady’s Dressing Room” (NAEL); “The Progress of Beauty,” “A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed” (Mackie)
Montagu, “The Lover: A Ballad,” “Epistle from Mrs. Yonge to Her Husband,” “The Reasons That Induced Dr. Swift to Write a Poem” (all in NAEL)
Comic Drama (2) November 14, 19, 21, 26
Centlivre, A Bold Stroke for a Wife (Broadview)
Gay, The Beggar’s Opera (NAEL)
Class presentations December 3, 5, 13 (3:30 p.m.)
Beginning the second week and continuing through November, you will write weekly pieces on critical issues that interest you (2-3 pages each week); you may turn in your piece either Tuesday or Thursday. Use this opportunity to focus your thinking about the literature you are reading. Try out ideas that you might want to explore more fully in an essay, for, ideally, your paper will arise from a journal piece. You may follow the prompts below or write on another aspect of this literature that interests you. Depending on the week’s assignment, you may want to write about one text or several texts.
--Write about a significant or problematic passage, scene, or character;
--Write about a difficulty, resolved or unresolved, for a character, the author, or the reader;
--Write a letter to a character or an author raising questions or giving advice.
Developing ideas introduced in a journal piece or in a brief prospectus, you will write an essay of about 15 pages. You may write about one text or several, whichever better suits your intellectual interests. The completed paper is due no later than Reading Day, December 10.
By November 19 arrange a brief conference with me to discuss your plans. If your paper is based on one of your journal pieces, bring that with you. If not, bring a prospectus. By November 26 submit a bibliography of secondary sources you plan to use, including books, book chapters, and journal articles that address key issues in the text(s) you plan to write about. Incorporating this research, write the paper developed from your journal piece or prospectus. I will be glad to discuss a draft with you. Also see the oral presentation below.
Class Participation/Oral Presentations
I expect you to attend regularly, to arrive on time, and to be actively involved in discussion. Since you are graduate students and this is a discussion class, your presence and participation are important to our intellectual inquiry. Although these texts may be unfamiliar, remember that you bring to them valuable perspectives developed in the study of other literature, theory, and rhetoric.
You will be responsible for several oral presentations during the semester:
Two Book Chapter/Article Reviews: Since these reviews are intended to introduce you to studies of early eighteenth-century literature, you will be responsible for summarizing the main argument(s) of the chapter/article, along with the critic’s general approach and supporting evidence. Consider how this argument may be useful to the class, ways to extend the argument, the methodology, flaws or gaps in the argument, etc. You will turn in a written version (2-3 pages, which will substitute for your journal that week). For the oral version, plan for about 10 minutes; you may either read or talk through the paper. Afterward, be prepared to answer questions.
Discussion Leading: Once during the semester you student will lead class discussion for 30-45 minutes. You are in charge of directing discussion during this time. It’s fine if the issues you raise occupy us longer, but you are not responsible for doing more. In addition to discussing issues you find interesting, you should also frame for us the major critical issues surrounding your text(s). To prepare yourself to lead the discussion, you should have read the entire text or group of texts. You may want to spend some time looking a the MLA Bibliography, found in the Electronic Databases. Please discuss your plans with me in advance.
Research presentations: These are scheduled on the syllabus for the end of the semester. During these presentations, you will deliver a short version of your paper to your classmates (about 10 minutes), with time allowed for discussion. Each student will also serve as a respondent to another’s paper.
Journal, 35%; paper, 35%; participation/presentations, 30%.