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Requirements and Assessment: We will meet in weekly seminars and regular, engaged participation is expected. More than one absence may result in a failing grade for the course (regardless of grades on written work). Final grades will be determined by participation (25%) and three short-ish assignments (roughly 3-4 single-spaced pages each; 25% each). These assignments will be due in class on Monday, Oct. 6; Monday, Nov. 3; and Monday, Dec. 1. No late work will be accepted.

You must write three of the following :

  • review of reviews—based on at least three reviews of a single book in eighteenth-century studies (published 1950-present) describe and (more important) account for the differences and similarities between reviews;
  • reception history—pick one eighteenth-century text and write an account of at least three moments in its reception;
  • “this day in history”—pick one day from the eighteenth century (defined for this exercise as 1688-1815). On the basis of at least three primary sources for that date (newspapers and other periodicals, correspondence, diaries), write an account of the day. You may want to emphasize what contemporaries considered newsworthy and/or you may want to focus on how you (as historian-critic) can use various "minor" details to understand the day in ways contemporaries could not.
  • chronology exercise—write a (heavily annotated) timeline useful for interpreting one eighteenth-century text. (For instance, if your text were Sorrows of Young Werther, you would probably include the year of Goethe’s birth. What else?) We imagine this assignment as one in which you construct a useful context and meaningful frame of reference for understanding the text in question. Make sure you explain and justify the points you put on your timeline.
  • “Pop! goes the eighteenth century”—this panel title from last year’s ASECS meeting reminds us that the eighteenth century is of vital interest to many communities outside the academy (from Revolutionary War re-enactors to Janeites). Compare and contrast one such version of the eighteenth century to that you find in recent scholarship.
  • Final Assignment option (can only be submitted in December)—demonstrate how the material we have covered this semester has challenged, changed, or shaped your own research in eighteenth-century studies. You may want to present this in the form of a short grant proposal or as a miniature dissertation prospectus.

If you have any questions, please contact one or both of the instructors by e-mail (nash@indiana.edu rlspang@indiana.edu) or speak to us after class. Richard Nash has regular office hours on Mondays, from 1:00-2:00 p.m; Rebecca Spang's are from 11:30-12:30 on Wednesdays.We are happy to meet with you at other times, as well! Please just e-mail for an appointment.


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