English 45B

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

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2020 Sorensen, Janet
Lectures MW 1-2 + one hour of discussion section per week (sec. 101: F 1-2; sec. 102: F 1-2; sec. 103: F 2-3; sec. 104: F 2-3; sec. 105: Thurs. 9-10; sec. 106: Thurs. 10-11

Book List

Austen, Jane: Emma; Behn, Aphra: Oroonoko; Defoe, Daniel: Moll Flanders; Equiano, Olaudah: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself; Pope, Alexander: The Rape of the Lock and Other Major Writings; Wordsworth, William: Lyrical Ballads


As we read works produced in a period of tumultuous change, we shall consider those works as zones of contact, reflecting and sometimes negotiating conflict. In a world of expanding global commerce (imports like tea suddenly becoming commonplace in England), political revolution (English, American, French), and changing conceptions of what it means to be a man or woman (a new medical discourse viewing them as categorically distinct), increasingly available printed texts become sites of contestation—including debates about what constitutes "proper" language and Literature itself. We shall think about the ways in which separate groups—British and African, masters and slaves, slave owners and abolitionists, arch capitalists and devout religious thinkers, Republicans and Conservatives, men and women—use writing to devise ongoing relationships with each other, often under conditions of inequality. Throughout we shall be especially attuned to formal choices—from linguistic register to generic conventions and innovations—and how writers deploy these to incorporate opposition, resist authority or authorize themselves. Requirements will include two papers, a mid-term exam, a final exam, and reading quizzes.

Discussion Sections

101 Bircea, Jason
F 1-2 305 Wheeler
102 Nyiri, Jessy
F 1-2 51 Evans
103 Bircea, Jason
F 2-3 305 Wheeler
104 Nyiri, Jessy
F 2-3 39 Evans
105 Geary, Christopher
Thurs. 9-10 305 Wheeler
106 Geary, Christopher
Thurs. 10-11 305 Wheeler

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