English | Literatures in English, 1800-1900
E303 | 2133 | Ivan Kreilkamp


E303 2133 LITERATURES IN ENGLISH, 1800-1900
Ivan Kreilkamp

11:45a-1:00p D (30 students) 3 cr., A&H.

In this course we’ll read and analyze a range of some of the most
important poetry, fiction, essays, and drama published in Britain
and the United States in the nineteenth century.  This was an age of
and framed by wars, revolutions, and revolutionary changes: the
American and French Revolutions, the American Civil War, the
Industrial and Darwinian Revolutions, the abolition of slavery, and
the emergence of women’s rights, to name some of the most
prominent.  These public events were accompanied by and intertwined
with the more private or psychological revolutions chronicled in the
literature of the period, which overflows with all the joys, doubts,
revelations, and fears of the age.  We will read literary works both
as responding to public or social experiences and events, and
as “events” in their own right.  Amid a wide range of topics and
questions, one abiding focus for us will be the conflict between the
era’s faith in “Enlightenment,” reason, and rationality, on the one
hand, and its awareness of a host of opposing forces, including
superstition, ignorance, magic, evil, nonsense, and the
supernatural.  Authors will include as many of the following as we
can fit in: William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
Thomas de Quincey, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Brontë, Frederick
Douglass, George Eliot, Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson,
Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman,
Oscar Wilde, and Henry James.  Assignments will include an hour
midterm and final test; two papers (one 4-6 pages, one 6-8 pp.); and
regular short in-class assignments.  Class will include short
lectures and extensive student discussion, and class participation
will count toward final grade.