English R1A

Reading & Composition: Victorian Industry

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2008 Jhoanna Infante
MWF 2-3 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Dickens, C.: Hard Times. Gaskell, E.: Mary Barton. Course Reader.


"The problem of labor preoccupied writers of prose, fiction, and poetry during the reign of Queen Victorian, a period of industrial and urban expansion in England. The discourse around labor overlapped with aesthetic discourse, as both addressed the alienation of the laborer from the product of his hands. John Ruskin, a critic of art and society, promotes a pre-modern, Gothic aesthetic, in which objects are valued for the imperfections that bespeak the touch of numberless craftsmen. William Morris, too, promoted a return to craftsmanship as a way to counter the advance of a debased consumer culture in his essay �The Beauty of Life.� Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell addressed the oppression of the working class in their respective novels, Hard Times and Mary Barton. In addition to the texts mentioned above, we will read excerpts from Marx and Engels� The Communist Manifesto and poems by Tennyson, Landon, and Hopkins; we will also examine textiles, books, and stained glass produced by Morris & Company.

This course is an introduction to analysis and argumentation; the instructor runs the class as a discussion seminar and writing workshop. The writing requirement includes five short essays of increasing length."

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