English R1A

Reading and Composition: The Literature of Adventure in the Eighteenth Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2016 Heimlich, Timothy
TTh 9:30-11 222 Wheeler

Book List

Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Radcliffe, Ann: The Romance of the Forest

Other Readings and Media

A mandatory course reader will be made available for purchase at Replica Copy at 2138 Oxford Street.   The reader will include William Beckford’s Vathek, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, selections from Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, selections from Edward Said’s Orientalism, selections from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and selections from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s  Travels.


The eighteenth century witnessed Britain’s rise to the status of world superpower.  As the newly United Kingdom expanded its colonial holdings and extended its imperial power around the globe, its writers imagined traversing that globe – and encountering non-British people – with greater frequency and urgency.  This course will explore the rhetoric of adventure literature: what it was used for, where it came from, and how its tropes and preoccupations continue to influence contemporary Anglo-American culture today.  

In the course 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.  In addition to a short diagnostic essay, you will write three progressively longer essays and revise each of them, honing your reading and writing skills and better preparing you to present convincing and thorough arguments in the essay form.


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