English 45B

Literature in English: Late-17th through the Mid-19th Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Sorensen, Janet
Sorensen, Janet
MWF 9-10 159 Mulford

Other Readings and Media

A. Behn, Oroonoko, A. Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Elizabeth Mary Wortley Montagu, Selected Poems, Jonathan Edwards, Selected Writings, D. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Samuel Johnson, Selected Works, O. Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life, P. Wheatley, Selected Poems, W. Cowper, Selected Poems, W. Scott, Redgauntlet, J. Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans, H. Melville, Benito Cereno.


As we read works produced in a period of often tumultuous change, we shall consider those works as zones of contact, reflecting and sometimes negotiating conflict. In a world of expanding global commerce (imports like tea suddenly become commonplace in England), political revolution (English, French, American), and changing conceptions of what it means to be a man or woman (a new medical discourse wants to view them as categorically distinct), increasingly available printed texts become sites of contestation?including debates about what constitutes ?proper? language itself. We shall think about the ways in which separate groups?British and African, masters and slaves, slave owners and abolitionists, arch capitalists and devout religious thinkers, Republicans and Conservatives, and men and women?use writing to devise ongoing relationships with each other, often under conditions of inequality. Throughout we shall be especially attuned to formal choices?from linguistic register to generic conventions?and how writers deploy these to incorporate opposition, resist authority or authorize themselves. Requirements will include two papers, a mid-term, a final, and occasional quizzes.

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