English 10B-2 - Fall, 2014

Literatures in English II: 1700-1900

Class Information

Instructor: Page, Ryan
CRN: 42374
Time: MWF 1:10-2:00
Location: 7 Wellman


    English 10B is the second of the three part Literatures in English sequence required for all majors. This section will cover the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, encompassing poetry, prose and drama from the heyday of the Enlightenment to the birth of Modernism. The object of the Literatures in English sequence is to familiarize you with key historical developments and transformations in literary form while improving your reading and writing skills in preparation for upper division course work. After completing this class, you should not only be able to discuss the pragmatics of literary form, but also the intellectual and historical contexts of works produced during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and you should have the beginnings of a critical methodology which with to pursue original research.

    The central motif of English 10B is the journey towards and away from literary Romanticism. In this section of English 10B, I have chosen a series of texts that explore themes of criminality: thievery, prostitution, incest, rape, sendition, murder, and a few madmen and gothic monsters thrown in for good measure. I want us to think about how the production of criminal behavior in post-Enlightenment texts equals the construction of individual selves, and what the stakes of such an equation mean thematically. Other themes which will emerge in these works include travel and pilgrimage, self-determination and gender, and the rise of commodity capitalism. The class is reading and writing intensive, of course. I have only listed below those texts which will be available for purchase at the bookstore; other poems and stories in the public domain will be rendered as PDF's on the course website.


    Participation, attendance, short writing assignments and quizzes: 20%
    Paper 1: 20%
    Paper 2: 30%
    3 Critical Interventions (submitted online): 15%
    Final: 15%


    Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
    Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin
    A Sentimental Journey, Laurence Sterne
    The Cenci, Percy Bysshe Shelley
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
    An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy