English 100

Junior Seminar: British Literature and the Global 19th Century (note new title)

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2009 Sanchez, Juan
MW 4-5:30 109 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

British Literature: 1780-1830; Hamilton, Translations of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah; Owenson/Morgan, The Wild Irish Girl; Arnold, Culture and Anarchy; Collins, Moonstone; Haggard, She.


During the nineteenth century, Britain emerged as the world’s most expansive planetary empire with a sphere of influence affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people and discrete communities. Although political historians are now seeking to understand the role of this vast empire in the development of a new global order beginning to take root in the nineteenth century, one of the main challenges for literary critics remains to determine the complex, and often vexed relations of global politics to the production of art, society, and culture at large. In this course we will seek to develop a greater understanding of nineteenth-century literature as a global phenomenon. This means not only attending to the relationship of literary works to Britain’s colonial enterprise—paying attention, for example, to the particular ways in which poetry, novels, drama, and other imaginative works helped shape, reinforce, and critique British imperial ideology—but also its role in more broadly shaping nineteenth-century global formations, including international law and thought, ideas about political boundaries and state sovereignty, economic liberalism, and the place of war and violence in maintaining peace throughout the globe. As a result, some of the topics to be discussed will include the relationship between nineteenth-century literature and the following: transatlantic and worldwide commercial systems, the slave trade, travel and exploration, foreign wars and political revolutions, and the collision of regional environments, especially with respect to religious and cultural conflicts. We will also attend to recent work on global feminisms, cosmopolitanisms, and “contact zone” experiences created by travel, migration, and Britain’s colonial enterprise. While key critical works will help us establish these geo-political frameworks, we will also read literature about Other places—including Ireland, India, the Middle-East, Africa, North America, Latin America, and Spain.

The seminar requirement for the English major may be satisfied by any ONE of the following:  English 100, 150, 150AC, or H195A-B.

Be sure to read the paragraph on page 1 of this Announcement of Classes regarding enrollment in English 100! 

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