English 45B

Literature in English: Late-17th Through Mid-19th Centuries

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2015 Blanton, C. D.
MW 12-1; discussion sections F 12-1 60 Barrows

Book List

Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Gay, John: The Beggar's Opera; Melville, Herman: Benito Cereno; Pope, Alexander: Essay on Criticism; Essay on Man; The Rape of the Lock; Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft: Frankenstein; Sterne, Laurence: A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy; Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver's Travels; Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass; Wordsworth, William: The Prelude


This course has two fundamental purposes. The first is to provide a broad working overview of the development of literature in English, from the end of the 17th century, in the wake of civil war, revolution, and restoration in England, to the mid-19th century, on the cusp of civil war in the United States. We will thus trace English literature’s expansion and transformation, from an insular cultural form to an incipient global fact, from a writing produced in England to a writing produced in English. We will also attend to the particular forms that emerged in this process--poetry and criticism, satire and novel--exploring the ways in which they revise and readapt older traditions to new historical circumstances, often constructing the categories that shape our own habits and styles of reading in the process.

Our second purpose is to offer an introduction to some of the basic techniques and methods of critical reading and writing that guide our collective interpretation of that literature. Lectures in the course will seek to provide a sense of essential conceptual, historical, and literary-historical contexts, while both lectures and discussion sections will be designed to inculcate a sense of the formal diversity, complexity, and significance of the texts at hand.

Discussion Sections

101 Wise, Diana Catherine
F 12-1 110 Wheeler
102 Shelley, Jonathan
F 12-1 20 Wheeler

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