English | English Literature 1660-1790
L631 | 14390 | Charnes
L631/L731 14390 CHARNES (#3)
English Literature 1660-1790
4:00p– 5:15p TR
TOPIC: MILTON AND THE LIBERTINES
This course begins with Milton late in his career, and will move
through selections of literature and drama from the “Restoration” of
the English monarchy to some of the radical English writings that
helped contribute to the revolution in America. Our impetus will be
to explore how the “failed” republicanism of the Interregnum affects
subsequent attitudes towards belief and desire—individual,
political, religious. At the center will be the raging cultural
contest over what, and who gets to, define the concept of “Liberty.”
We will consider royalism and radicalism as fundamentalist modes in
their own right, and try to understand the emerging political
psychology of early eighteenth-century England, bookended by the
Interregnum on the one hand, and the “Age of Reason” on the other.
A substantial portion of the semester will be devoted to Paradise
Lost; other authors will include Aphra Behn, Thomas D’Urfey, John
Wilmot (Earl of Rochester), Etherege, Wycherly, John Wilkes, Thomas
Paine, and other rakes and radicals, male and female. Secondary
materials may include political theorists such as Zizek, Elster,
Agamben, Badiou, and Benedict Anderson; and critics and historians
such as Gordon Teskey, Lynn Hunt, James Turner, Jane Spencer,
Stanley Fish, Derek Hughes, Kirk Combes, and John Durham Peters.
Students taking the course as L631 will write weekly response notes,
and two ten-paged position papers.
Students taking the course as L731 will write weekly response notes,
and submit a 20-25pp seminar paper at the end of the semester.