English 190

Research Seminar: Victorian Masculinities


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2014 Knox, Marisa Palacios
TTh 9:30-11 301 Wheeler

Book List

Dickens, C.: David Copperfield; Haggard, H.: King Solomon's Mines; Stevenson , R.: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Wilde, W. : The Importance of Being Earnest

Description

The Queen for whom the Victorian era was named defines the period’s cultural reputation in more ways than one; the stereotypes of Victorianism—moral constraint, prudery, repression—are almost always associated with women. This course seeks to explore how the Victorians defined masculinity, both in relation to femininity and on its own terms. What were the Victorian ideals of maleness, the counterparts to the female “Angel in the House”? When Thomas Carlyle wrote “On Heroes,” what kind of men was he envisioning, and how was the image of the hero shaped by different literary forms as well as historical events? We will examine new ideas of boyishness and development, from schoolroom ethics to muscular Christianity, and delve into the complex and intersectional subcategories of Victorian masculinity: the gentleman, the professional, the adventurer, the citizen, the voter, the dandy, and the degenerate. Over the course of the semester, we will also question the rigidity of these classifications, and trace their fluctuations throughout the century.

Students will write two research papers: an exploratory essay of 5-8 pages and a larger culminating essay of 12-15 pages. Research projects will also be presented to the class. 

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

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