English | English Literature 1660-1790
L631 | 27684 | Anderson, Penelope

L631 27684   P ANDERSON  (#3)
English Literature 1660-1790

4:00p Ė 5:15p TR


This course focuses primarily on early modern womenís writings, some
well-known and some very recently brought into print.  These texts
force a reconsideration of the central intellectual concerns of the
early modern period:  sovereignty and servitude; liberty and
republicanism; the role of humanist learning; print technology and
the public sphere; and colonialismís challenges to perception, among
others.  They also, in their formal and thematic innovations, change
the stories we tell about the growth and demise of the
characteristic genres of the Renaissance and eighteenth century:
the development of romance narratives into novels, for instance, or
the relation between metaphor and political treatises.

In addition to considerations of period and genre, this course takes
up a methodological question:  do the texts we read and write about
change our strategies of critical argumentation?  That is, do we
need new kinds of justifications and new kinds of proof to generate
relevant critical arguments from these materials (archival, non-
canonical, sometimes non-literary)?  What might those arguments look
like, and how do they change our ways of reading other texts?  As a
way to answer this question, we will look both at the current state
of scholarship in the field and at theoretical texts that have
framed the terms of the debate.  Much of the scholarship on these
writers takes historical, feminist and/or queer studies approaches,
but you will be encouraged to bring your own theoretical and
methodological interests to bear upon these questions.

READINGS:  We will read a wide range of works by Margaret Cavendish,
Lucy Hutchinson, Hester Pulter, Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, Lady
Mary Wortley Montagu, Anne Finch, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Astell, and
Charlotte Lennox, among others.  We will also read a number of works
that frame the debate about gender in the early modern period:
humanist treatises by Erasmus and Juan Luis Vives; religious texts
such as John Calvinís commentaries on St. Paul; and didactic
marriage manuals like William Gougeís.  In addition, we will read
selections from canonical texts that productively engage the
questions of the course:  John Miltonís Paradise Lost; John Wilmot,
Earl of Rochesterís lyrics; and John Lockeís treatises, for
example.  This course does not assume prior knowledge of the texts
or period, but it would be useful to read Paradise Lost in advance
if you have never done so.

REQUIREMENTS:  Since this is a 600-level course, it will focus on
wide reading and, correspondingly, on exploratory rather than
definitive writing assignments.  The course will take place in the
Lilly Library, which will afford us the opportunity to work closely
with archival materials, in manuscript, print, and digital formats.
Course requirements include one short paper that uses archival
materials and reflects upon methodology; an oral presentation on a
critical topic; a final conference-length paper; and attendance and
active participation.