English 150

Senior Seminar: Victorian Masculinities in Conflict

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Fall 2006 Chevalier, Antoinette
Chevalier, Antoinette
TTh 9:30-11 224 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

George Gissing: New Grub Street; Robert Louis Stevenson: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sign of Four; Bram Stoker: Dracula; Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone; E.M. Forster: Howards End


"In this class we will examine the varied and often conflicting forms of masculinity in the latter-half of the Victorian era. We will look at �hegemonic� masculinities (i.e., heterosexual, white, middle-upper class) alongside �other� masculinities and analyze the ways these are contested and negotiated in the literature. Masculinities are constructed within the domestic sphere, by work/profession, and through diverse experiences based upon race, class, and sexuality. Our objective is to better understand the gendered nature of Victorian culture, as well as the intersections between gender and other group-based identities in the late-nineteenth century. How are discourses surrounding the ideal �gentleman� and �manliness� problematized by poverty? How are particular masculinities sustained or re-created in the face of British imperialism and, conversely, by the �threat� of immigrant Others?

The fiction selected for this class will allow for a nuanced analysis of gender performance by the dandy, the class aspirant, the captains of industry, the empire builders, the servant class, the working poor, the racial/racialized other. Required texts will also include a course reader containing current literary and gender criticism along with non-fiction prose by nineteenth-century cultural critics. "

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