English 246F

Graduate Proseminar: The Later-Eighteenth Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2013 Goodman, Kevis
Tues. 3:30-6:30 note new room: 210 Dwinelle

Book List

Burke, Edmund: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; Burke, Edmund: Reflections on the Revolution in France; Burney, Frances: Evelina: Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World; Johnson, Samuel: Samuel Johnson: Selected Poetry and Prose; Johnson and Boswell: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides; Smith, Adam: Theory of Moral Sentiments; Sterne, Laurence: A Sentimental Journey; Walpole, Horace: The Castle of Otranto; Williams, Helen Maria: Letters, Written in France; Williams, Raymond: Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society; Wordsworth and Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads: 1798 and 1800;

Recommended: Hume, David: A Treatise of Human Nature

Other Readings and Media

A Course Reader: Including poetry and prose by Anna Barbauld, William Collins, William Cowper, George Crabbe, Erasmus Darwin, Oliver Goldsmith, John Locke, Hannah More, David Hume, Richard Hurd, Thomas Percy, Joseph Priestley, Edward Young, and others -- plus selected criticism. Additional criticism will be on the class bspace site.


The later eighteenth century has presented literary historians with more than the usual challenge to periodization or organization by author and movement; they have responded with an unusual number of designations: the “Age of Johnson,” “Sensibility,” “Pre-romanticism,” etc.  Proceeding with more of a chronological drift than in strict chronological order, we will try to do justice to the heterogeneity and eccentricity of the period from 1740-1800, investigating its adjacent and overlapping concerns by topic, rather than by author. These topics will include: the emergent category of “literature” within letters or written material; aesthetics in relation to empiricism; the Scottish Enlightenment and theories of sympathy; skirmishes over the “common” tongue and the constitution of “the people”; the revival of romance before “Romanticism,” antiquarian literary impulses and forms (gothic, ballad, etc.), borders and peripheries within the nation; new international spaces and sentiment, experimental and revolutionary cultures.

This course satisfies the Group 3 (17th-18th century) requirement.

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