English 45B

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

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2019 Goldstein, Amanda Jo
Lectures MW 2-3 in 101 Morgan + one hour of discussion section per week in various locations (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 1-2; sec. 103: F 2-3; sec. 104: F 2-3; sec. 105: Th 9-10; sec. 107: Th 10-11)

Book List

Austen, Jane: Persuasion; Behn, Aphra: Oroonoko; Blake, William: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Songs of Innocence and of Experience; Darwin, Charles: The Voyage of the Beagle; Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life; Franklin, Benjamin: Autobiography; Frederick, Douglass: Narrative of the Life (and Other Writings); Melville, Herman: Benito Cereno; Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein; Sterne, Laurence: A Sentimental Journey; Wordsworth & Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads.

Other Readings and Media

Readings from Mary Rowlandson, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Eliza Haywood, Phillis Wheatley, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Nat Turner, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning (and more) will be available in a course reader and/or via the course website.


Do written words cause revolutions, and how might literature aid, absorb, or elude transformations of the social world? This course surveys the revolutionary middle of literary history in English, from 1688 to1848: a period driven and riven by political revolutions (England, America, France, Haiti), imperial rivalry and anti-colonial struggle, industrialization and the lure of the wilderness, chattel slavery and sentimental sympathy, and new forms of media connectivity and alienation. Charting many passages between “Old Europe,” the “New World,” and the “Dark Continent,” we will pay special attention to the ways differently fictional and factual kinds of writing – novel, slave narrative, travelogue, autobiography, poem, polemic and proto-science fiction – shape and parry the period’s scientific, industrial and political transformations, helping to invent (but also to resist) the categories of social, psychic, racial and consumer experience that are familiar to us as inheritors of Anglo-American empire. From the heyday of neo-classical imitation to the Romantic destruction of inherited forms and new experiments in democratic writing, we will ask what the British and American literature of the "Age of Revolution" has to teach us about today’s penchant for “innovation” and “disruption.”

Discussion Sections

101 Struhl, Abigail
F 1-2 301 Wheeler
102 Wang, Jacob
F 1-2 305 Wheeler
103 Struhl, Abigail
F 2-3 301 Wheeler
104 Wang, Jacob
F 2-3 305 Wheeler
105 Yniguez, Rudi
Thurs. 9-10 301 Wheeler
107 Yniguez, Rudi
Thurs. 10-11 301 Wheeler

Other Recent Sections of This Course

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