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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

British Literature

english department

English Electives Offered Spring 2017

 

ENGL2171 Introduction to British Literature and Culture II (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

This lecture course explores great British writers from 1700 to the present. This period includes (among much else) the great essayists and satirists of the eighteenth century, the Romantic poets and Victorian novelists of the nineteenth, the modernists of the twentieth, and the world writing that follows the break-up of the British empire. We consider these works in light of the cultural context in which they were written.

John Anderson

ENGL2286 Town and Country in Victorian Fiction (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

The realism of the Victorian novel, in all its variants, was an attempt to encompass the experience of the individual within the context of society. But what was society? Was it a web of individuals (as in the work of George Eliot) or an agglomeration of changing social, economic or cultural forces (as in Thomas Hardy)? Could the tensions around gender be uncovered in the rendering of the micro-society of a country house (Wilkie Collins) or an operative ideology such as utilitarianism be exposed in an allegorized version of the city (Dickesns)? We will be exploring these and other questions in a class during which we will be reading eight novels from a period of historical change from the rural to the urban as the industrial revolution led people from the country to the town.

James Murphy

ENGL3310 Shakespeare (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1700 requirement

An introductory lecture/discussion course, placing Shakespeare’s drama in the historical and theatrical contexts of his time. Topics will include Shakespeare’s professional career; the playhouses for which he wrote; the structure of Elizabethan playing companies; Elizabethan stage conventions such as blank verse, doubling, and cross-dressing; and the textual and performance histories of his plays. Plays will likely include Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest.

Andrew Sofer

ENGL3351 British Romantic Poetry (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

In this course we will read and discuss the poetry of Burns, Blake, Barbauld, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Hemans, Keats, Clare, and Landon. In addition to reading a few essays in literary criticism and theory by the poets themselves, we will consider a variety of critical perspectives, including formalism (the study of poetic and other literary devices and structures) and other approaches, such as feminism and the New Historicism, that bring out the cultural, social, and historical contexts of the poems.

Alan Richardson

ENGL3360 Victorian Violence (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

Victorian Britain has a well-known reputation for restraint. But violence was an inescapable part of the experience of Victorian writers and their publics, casting a shadow on their celebrations of the progress of civilization and their championing of the peaceful virtues of hearth and home. This course will examine representations of war, murder, domestic violence, and political violence—on the home front and around the globe—in Victorian fiction, poetry, prose writing, and performance. Authors may include Arnold, Emily Brontë, Carlyle, Conrad, Dickens, Kipling, Morrison, Stevenson, and Tennyson.

Aeron Hunt

ENGL3393 Chaucer (Spring:3.0)
This course will fulfill the pre-1700 requirement

Geoffrey Chaucer (d. 1400) was the first poet writing in English who was lauded and studied as literature in his own time. His body of writing, covering a breathtakingly wide range of subjects, is a subtle mix of satire and the sublime. This course is an introduction to Chaucer’s poetry, including his masterpiece, the Canterbury Tales. It is also an introduction to the Middle English language. The course is structured around the different genres and literary forms invented or reinterpreted by Chaucer, from tales of courtly love to fabliaux (fables) and dream visions. No prior knowledge of Middle English required.

Eric Weiskott

ENGL4340 Milton (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills pre-1700 requirement


Readings in the early poetry will lead up to reading Milton's epic in its entirety. Some attention will be afforded to Milton's political writing as well. After reading Paradise Lost, we'll look into the experience of one of its most earnest readers, the unnamed creature at the center of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  There will be ample opportunities to read aloud in small groups outside our ordinary class-meetings.

Dayton Haskin

ENGL4393 Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries (Spring:3.0)
Satisfies the pre-1900 requirement. Satisfies the Women Writers requirement for LSOE.

In this class, we will read Jane Austen's six major novels through the lens of new historicism. Thinking about literature as social process, we will discuss the cultural work done by Austen and other writers of her era, such as Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Mary Wollstonecraft.

Beth Kowaleski Wallace

ENGL4460 ATS: Global Crossroads in Eighteenth-Century Literature
Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement

Caribbean sugar, Indian spices, Chinese silk, and African gold, what was eighteenth-century "Britain" made of? The era's literature has a reputation for being obsessively nationalistic, even xenophobic. But given the influx of global goods into the country, what stories, discourses, and ideas might have come along with them? In this seminar, we will consider some international roots of the British literary tradition. The syllabus includes works by Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Samuel Johnson, and Olaudah Equiano. We will use criticism and supplementary materials from early modern Asia and Africa to situate these texts in global contexts.

Rebekah Mitsein

ENGL4460 ATS: Global Crossroads in Eighteenth-Century Literature (Spring:3.0)

Fulfills the pre-1900 requirement
Caribbean sugar, Indian spices, Chinese silk, and African gold, what was eighteenth-century "Britain" made of? The era's literature has a reputation for being obsessively nationalistic, even xenophobic. But given the influx of global goods into the country, what stories, discourses, and ideas might have come along with them? In this seminar, we will consider some international roots of the British literary tradition. The syllabus includes works by Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Samuel Johnson, and Olaudah Equiano. We will use criticism and supplementary materials from early modern Asia and Africa to situate these texts in global contexts.
Rebekah Mitsein

ENGL6699 Seminar: Old English (Spring:3.0)
Fulfills the pre-1700 requirement. This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Anglo-Saxons ruled England for 600 years, and their language is both familiar and strange. The core of English (stone, water, bone) comes from Old English, but English has changed in 900 years. Grammar is learned quickly. Then a world of literature opens up: violent poetry, mournful elegy, spiritual meditations, fanciful romance. We read Genesis, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, mesmerizing homilies, Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, and unforgettable poetry: the moody elegies The Wanderer, The Wife's Lament, and The Husband's Message, the Christian psychedelia of Dream of the Rood, the cryptic remnant Wulf and Eadwacer, and the feminist Biblical narrative Judith.
Robert Stanton

ENGL6699 Seminar: Old English (Spring:3.0)

Fulfills the pre-1700 requirement. This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Anglo-Saxons ruled England for 600 years, and their language is both familiar and strange. The core of English (stone, water, bone) comes from Old English, but English has changed in 900 years. Grammar is learned quickly. Then a world of literature opens up: violent poetry, mournful elegy, spiritual meditations, fanciful romance. We read Genesis, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, mesmerizing homilies, Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, and unforgettable poetry: the moody elegies The WandererThe Wife's Lament, and The Husband's Message, the Christian psychedelia of Dream of the Rood, the cryptic remnant Wulf and Eadwacer, and the feminist Biblical narrative Judith.
Robert Stanton

 

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