English R1B

Reading & Composition: Nineteenth-Century Monsters

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2015 Heimlich, Timothy
MWF 1-2 225 Wheeler

Book List

Agamben, Giorgio: The Open; Hogg, James: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein (1818 edition); Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, to be purchased at a location TBD


What is a monster?  Why do we fear it?  What role does it play in our conception of ourselves and our world?  Our work in this class will focus on the figure of the monster, especially as it appears in the literature of nineteenth-century Britain.  We will pursue this figure from the frozen moors of northern England, through the barren wastes of the Alps and the North Pole, to the foggy London streets stalked by Mr. Hyde and the infamous Jack the Ripper.  In so doing, we will discover how writers and their readers used this figure to determine what society was, and who belonged to it.

In the process of this investigation, you will learn how to analyze and mobilize rhetoric in and through writing.  You will not only think about how writers make explicit and implicit arguments about the world around them, but also explore how to develop your own written arguments coherently and effectively. Furthermore, you will hone your research skills and your ability to develop arguments at length. In the process, you will write and revise two progressively longer research essays.

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