English | Literatures in English 1600-1800
E302 | 2200 | Charnes

E302 2200 CHARNES
Literatures in English 1600 1800

1:00p-2:15p TR (30) 3 CR.


This course considers a range of texts, literary and extra literary,
written during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Beginning
with Shakespeare's King Lear in the context of Jacobean England, we
will end with Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of
Women in the context of the impact of the American and French
Revolutions. Along the way we'll read works by Donne, Milton, Swift,
Aphra Behn, Pope, Rochester, Paine, Jefferson and Tocqueville, and
others who influenced the shift in English and Transatlantic culture
from 1600 to1800. We will pay special attention to how the
assumptions of the "age of reason" shifted literary focus away from
a politics couched largely in religious, philosophical and ethical
terms onto concerns with manners, "civility" and the nuances
of "polite" social behavior.  We will explore from a number of
critical and theoretical perspectives, a period of time that moved
from debates about Divine Providence and "fixed" human nature to
debates about rational scientific progress and the power of
individual reason; that continued to debate over whether women
are "innately" inferior or are socially trained to be so.  We will
look at how the notion of "the literary" itself is produced as a
cultural category during this time period; and we will study the
ways authors achieve aesthetic effects with specific social and
historical contexts.

Requirements: There will be three short papers, a midterm and a
final exam.  Attendance and participation in discussion is
mandatory, and will count for a portion of the course grade.