English | Literatures in English, 1800-1900
E303 | 16249 | John Paul Kanwit
E303 16249 LITERATURES IN ENGLISH, 1800-1900
John Paul Kanwit
2:30pm-3:45pm TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.
TOPIC: "The Work of Art in the Nineteenth Century"
In the United States and Great Britain, visual art became
increasingly important in the nineteenth century as evidenced by
newly opened public galleries; by the sometimes greater
accessibility of continental artworks; by writings about art and
illustrated guides that were circulated for a wider audience; and by
the close connections between literature and the visual arts. Many
of our texts will speak in particular to this last theme, and we
will consider the significance of moments in literary texts that
make use of visual art. But we will also examine the meaning of art
more generally in the nineteenth century, asking ourselves how
literary works were themselves figured as works of art and what
their purpose was believed to be (e.g., as self-expression, social
protest, art for its own sake, or to provoke emotional responses
The course will assay a wide range of texts--poetry, short fiction,
essay, drama, and the novel--from England, Ireland, and the United
States. We will study such authors as William Blake, William
Wordsworth, Felicia Hemans, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Emily
Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Oscar Wilde, Robert and Elizabeth
Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Michael Field, and Charlotte
Bronte. Of course, literature in English was produced in other
places than the ones I list above--in India, Canada, Scotland, South
Africa, and Australia. While our focus on the syllabus will be
limited, it will be the job of groups of students to expand our
range by presenting a short text from one of these other locations.
In addition to this group project, I expect careful preparation of
the reading and lively participation for each class session.
Written assignments will include two essays (6-8 pages) and three
shorter papers (2-3 pages).