English | Later Eighteenth-Century Literature
L327 | 28034 | Nick Williams

Nick Williams

28034 - 9:30a-10:45a TR (30 students) 3 cr., A&H

The names which have traditionally been applied to the literature
and culture of the second half of the eighteenth century—The Age of
Reason, the Age of Johnson—are accurate to some degree, but require
qualification and expansion.  The period did see the development and
application of many notions of Reason, in psychology, economics, the
sciences, as well as in the realms of art and literature.  And
Samuel Johnson the presiding figure in the world of letters.  While
paying heed to these traditional truths of the period, the current
course will also attend to those historical trends which defy the
dominant tone, what might be called the tradition of Unreason, as
reflected in the non-systematic literature of “genius,” the non-
rational literature of sentiment, and the emergence of literature
drawing on gothic sensation and the response to nature.  Work for
the course will include two papers of 5-7 pages, two short papers (1-
2 pp.), mid-term and final examinations.