English 149-4 - Spring, 2020

Topics in Literature

    Topic: Dark London

Class Information

Instructor: Johns, Alessa
CRN: 84075
Time: MW 12:10-1:30
Location: 107 Wellman


    This course will cover the period 1700-1950 and will explore representations of the city as magical, mysterious, and macabre: Crime, Fog, Under London, Death, Night, The Dark Thames, Slavery, Dark Verse, and Dark Drinks (Importing Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate). In addition to pondering works by, among others, Arthur Conan-Doyle, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry Mayhew, Charles Dickens, Mary Prince, William Wordsworth, Charlotte Smith, Joseph Addison, and Richard Steele, we will explore various genres (short stories, slave narratives, poetry, investigative journalism, travel writing, criticism, art and film), and examine themes of urban life: wealth, race, gender, health, industrialization, transportation, imperialism, slavery, pollution, and poverty.


    Grading will be based on quizzes and in-class assignments (15%), two papers (40%), a midterm (15%), a final (15%), and attendance and participation (15%).


    Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories, Arthur Conan Doyle
    London: The Autobiography, Jon E. Lewis
    Excerpts from London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew
    The History of Mary Prince, Mary Prince
    Online Readings