English N1B

Reading & Composition: Victorian Sensation

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
3 Summer 2012 Knox, Marisa Palacios
TTh 4-6 109 Wheeler

Book List

Braddon, Mary: Lady Audley's Secret; Eliot, George: Adam Bede; Wilde, Oscar: Picture of Dorian Gray;

Recommended: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research


The literary genre of the Victorian sensation novel of the 1860s-1870s was defined less by its form and content than by the response it was supposed to engender in its readers. This course aims to explore the significance of physical and psychological sensation in the Victorian period, as it was applied to fiction as well as to related concerns and controversies in science, medicine, crime, education, art, and electoral reform. In addition to the required novels above and excerpts from modern literary scholarship, the class will read numerous articles and excerpts from Victorian periodicals that produce and theorize the shifting category of sensation.

As we read sensational texts, the class will continuously work on developing the ability to write with clear exposition and argumentation. In order to expand and integrate these arguments within a larger intellectual context, students will learn and deploy methods of research through periodic assignments. Students will ultimately apply these practices in writing and revising three papers of increasing length, ranging from three to ten pages.

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