English 166

Special Topics: Epistles: The Letter in Life and Literature


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2015 Thornbury, Emily V.
MWF 12-1 215 Dwinelle Pre-1800 Requirement
Literary Theory
Special Topics

Book List

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise; Auden, W.H., and Louis MacNeice: Letters from Iceland; Austen, Jane: Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon; Dickinson, Emily: The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson; Hanff, Helene: 84, Charing Cross Road; Kleege, Georgina: Letters to Helen Keller; Ortberg, Mallory: Texts from Jane Eyre; Wilde, Oscar: De Profundis and Other Prison Writings; Wollstonecraft, Mary: Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark

Other Readings and Media

A course reader

Description

In this course, we will explore one of the most intimate, versatile, and surprising of literary forms: the letter. Connecting individuals across time and space, the letter has been alternately—and sometimes simultaneously—made a vehicle for satire, philosophy, science, comic observation, literary theory, and (of course) love. Besides the major themes and genres of epistolary forms in English literature, we will think about the medium itself, as we witness the transition from messenger to Postal Service to email and beyond. Students will have the opportunity both to generate their own letter collections and to research the Bancroft’s archival holdings of historic letters. The course will be co-taught by Professors Lyn Hejinian and Emily Thornbury.

We will begin discussing Austen’s Lady Susan during our first week, so those interested in the course should obtain a copy as soon as possible.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Comedy & Violence Flynn, Catherine
166/2 Special Topics: Romantic Science Goldstein, Amanda Jo
166/3 Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey
166/4 Special Topics: Marxism & Literature Lye, Colleen
166/5 Special Topics Shoptaw, John
166/6 Special Topics Jones, Donna V.
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/3 Special Topics: Black Science Fiction Serpell, C. Namwali
166/4 Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice Giscombe, Cecil S.
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Lye, Colleen
166/2 Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather) Francois, Anne-Lise
166/3 Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy Wagner, Bryan
166/4 Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film Goble, Mark
166/5 Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature Falci, Eric
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Aesthetics and the Environment in the Eighteenth Century Picciotto, Joanna M
166/2 Special Topics: Vladimir Nabokov Naiman, Eric
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Elizabethan Renaissance: Art, Culture, and Visuality Honig, Elizabeth
Fall, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Where the Wild Things Are: Empire and Travel Writing Saha, Poulomi
Spring, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Scotland and Romanticism Duncan, Ian
166/2 Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film Goble, Mark
166/3 Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov Naiman, Eric

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