Fall 2010 ENG 6355
“Milton and Marvell” Monday 1:00 – 4:00 Nicholas Von Maltzahn
Professor Introduction Through a series of linked readings, we shall investigate the relations between Milton and Marvell's poetry and prose. Their lives intersected in their works as poets, in their roles as state servants and controversialists, and in their friendship. These biographical connections afford a telling perspectives on their humanist careers. We shall review the literary consequences of their secretarial services, especially in the prose polemics of the English Revolution where they forged their competing views of religious and political liberty. But our emphasis will be on their innovations in lyric, epic and satire, where Milton and Marvell's works show the importance of intertextuality in Renaissance literature, whether in parody, generic adaptation, or animadversion. Finally issues of politics, aestheticization and secularization will inform our comparison of their respective histories: study of their posthumous careers will show how and why tradition made of Milton a sublime epic poet and of Marvell (more belatedly) a sublime lyric one. Method Seminar Grading Seminar performance 50%; essay 50% Texts John Milton. The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton. Ed. W. Kerrigan, J. Rumrich, and S. Fallon (Modern Library, Random House). Andrew Marvell. The Peoms of Andrew Marvell. Rev. ed. N. Smith (Longman). Andrew Marvell. The Prose Works. Volume 2. Ed. A. Patterson, N. von Maltzahn, and N. Keeble (Yale UP). Editions of these authors and related materials on reserve at Morisset Library.
“Moving Minds: Motion and Change in Enlightenment Literature” Wednesday 1:00 ‐ 4:00 Sara Landreth
Professor Introduction This course explores the connections between imaginative writing and the sciences of the mind in Restoration and eighteenth‐century Britain. In his 1755 Dictionary, Samuel Johnson defined motion as both “changing place” and “tendency of the mind” or “thought.” For twenty‐first century readers, the term motion evokes a physical change of place. Throughout the eighteenth century, however, motion was a concept that explained not merely spatial movement but also the operations of the mind and soul. Writers from Swift, Haywood and Sterne to John Dennis, David Hartley and Erasmus Darwin turned to Newtonian law in order to explain how imaginative writing “moved” a reader’s mind. Some of the questions posed by this course are: how did theories about mechanism and vitalism influence debates about the physiology of reading? How did the concept of motion relate to theories about emotion? How did imaginative writers attempt to represent the “secret springs”—an oft‐blamed cause of involuntary “motions”—in a character’s mind/soul? Enlightenment texts require readers to grapple with a proto‐disciplinary moment in which belles lettres, moral philosophy and natural philosophy—arenas that later narrowed into disciplines such as literature, psychology and physics—were not yet disaggregated. As such, our primary readings will be interleaved with a selection of critical and theoretical texts that address the interdisciplinary intersections between literary study and the history of science. Method Seminar Grading Seminar presentations and participation 50%; Final essay 50% Texts Margaret Cavendish, Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader Eliza Haywood, Life’s Progress through the Passions: or, The Adventures of Natura Thomas Amory, The Life and Opinions of John Buncle Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly: or, Memoirs of a Sleep‐Walker Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden, Part II: The Loves of the Plants Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Course Reader available from Laurier Office Mart
“’Reading Mania’: The Ambiguity of Reading in Romantic and Post‐Romantic Reflections” Thursday 4:00 – 7:00
Professor Ina Ferris Introduction The early decades of the nineteenth century were marked by an extraordinary reading boom, which turned Great Britain into what William St Clair identifies as the first “reading nation.” This development generated a heated, extensive debate in the periodical press (itself experiencing a boom in this period), and occasioned both national self‐congratulation and national anxiety. While the intensification and expansion of reading were seen as a sign of Britain’s progress as a modern nation, they were also understood as a symptom of a diluted and compromised “reading public” unmoored from traditional sites of literacy. Focusing much of the anxiety over reading was the novel, and this course will consider how the genre of the novel stood at the centre of the debate over reading. Novels were not simply the standard target of periodical critics but themselves participated, often ambivalently, in the debate, asking the same kinds of questions: who should read? what/ how should they read? and what in fact did it mean to read? The core of the course will be three exemplary Romantic novels–Northanger Abbey, Frankenstein, Waverley–which we will read alongside both periodical commentary on reading and other remarks on reading fiction by our authors (e.g. Scott’s periodical reviews). Framing our investigation and giving it critical‐historical context will be recent work on the history of reading by Robert Darnton, Heather Jackson, Alberto Manguel and others. In the last part of the course, we will turn to more theoretical post‐Romantic musings on reading itself, looking at essays by Roland Barthes, Georges Perec and Michel De Certeau; we will conclude with Calvino’s exuberant riff on reading in If on a winter’s night a traveller. Method Seminar Grading Seminar work 60%; term essay 40% Texts Please note: Any edition of the novels will do, but these are the preferred editions, available from Benjamin Books; the critical readings will be either on the course website or in the course packet.
19th‐Century Texts: Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey (Penguin) Rudyard Kipling, “The Janeites” (web) Walter Scott. Waverley (Oxford) Mary Shelley. Frankenstein (Longman Cultural Edition) Charles Lamb.“Readers Against the Grain” Selected reviews from Edinburgh Review, Scots Magazine, Quarterly Review, etc. 20th/21st‐Century Texts Italo Calvino. If on a winter’s night a traveller (Key Porter) Robert Darnton, “First Steps Toward a History of Reading” from The Kiss of Lamourette Reinhard Wittman, “Was There a Reading Revolution at the End of the Eighteenth Century?” from Cavallo & Chartier, A History of Reading in the West Alberto Manguel, “Learning to Read” from A History of Reading Heather Jackson, “The Reading Environment” from Romantic Readers Roland Barthes, “Writing Reading” from The Rustle of Language George Perec. “Reading: A Socio‐physiological Outline” from Species of Spaces and Other Pieces Michel De Certeau. “Reading as Poaching” from The Practice of Everyday Life ENG 6380 “The Nineteenth‐Century British Novel and the Culture of Sincerity" Friday 11:30 ‐ 2:30 Professor Lauren Gillingham Introduction One of the distinguishing characteristics of the nineteenth‐century novel in Britain and the society in which that novel was produced is a preoccupation with sincerity. The cultural importance attached to sincerity, however, coexists with concerns about the difficulty of differentiating authenticity from dissimulation, and of reconciling polite conduct with transparency and earnestness. The nineteenth‐century novel serves as a key site of the struggle to reconcile manners with morals. In this course, we will consider the problems and the potential of sincerity and its opposites – hypocrisy, deceit, but also tact and circumspection – as they are explored in a range of nineteenth‐century fiction. We will be interested in the provocative suggestion that hypocrisy is the bedrock of polite society: cast as tact, civility, modesty, or discretion, hypocrisy proves to be essential to the smooth functioning of civil society. More specifically, we will examine some of the effects for the individual, especially when that individual is gendered female, of being called upon to exhibit and even serve as apologist for modesty, refinement, and tact. We will also consider how the tension between manners and morals plays out across distinctions of rank,
station, and national character. Finally, we will ask how narrative form intersects in the period’s fiction with this nexus of concerns around sincerity and politeness. Please note: Since some of the novels are very long, especially Vanity Fair and Our Mutual Friend, I would strongly recommend that you read at least these two before the course begins. Method Seminar Grading Seminar presentation 35%, Article critique 15%, Research paper 50% Texts Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (Broadview) Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret (Broadview) Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (Oxford) Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (Oxford) Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Broadview) Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (Broadview) Walter Scott, The Heart of Midlothian (Oxford) William Thackeray, Vanity Fair (Oxford) Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Broadview) ENG 7303 "Organic Modernisms: Literature, Bioscience, and the Problem of Organic Form in the Early Twentieth Century” Wednesday 5:30 ‐ 8:30 Craig Gordon Professor Introduction Notions of organic form have long shaped aesthetic theory, literary production, and the critical reception of literature. This course, however, will explore the hypothesis that competing models of the organism (or of organic form) come to be singularly important in the early decades of the 20th century. If, by the end of the 20th century, the riddles organic form had arguably become the defining scientific problem of the century, we will explore  how that problem is articulated in the early decades of the century,  how literary modernism participates in its reframing, and  how modernist culture‐‐a culture that has often been characterized by its fascination with the technological rather than the organic‐‐is itself reframed by the unfolding of this problem.
One need only cast a cursory glance over the still relatively short history of critical response to modernist culture to remark the centrality of the organic. The New Criticism, with its fundamental argument for the autonomy of the work of art, depends massively on a theory of organic form imported from Kant, via Coleridge. If one shifts one's gaze from New Critical formalism to a line of political criticism that extends from F. R. Leavis to Raymond Williams, one once again finds the problem of organicity lodged firmly at the centre of the discussion. In this case, the question becomes that of the relationship between modernism and cultural forms, traditions, and notions of community that are ostensibly organic. Still more recently, much critical response to modernism influenced by the emergence of postmodernism (and of poststructuralist theory) has drawn our attention to the ostensibly totalizing impulse of canonical modernism. According to this line of argument, the sort of closed totalities preferred by the modernists is explicitly predicated on a common understanding of organic systems, and if it has consequences for modernist aesthetic projects it is also used to link those projects to reactionary, even proto‐fascist, political commitments. In this context, we will explore less the degree to which modernist culture can be characterized in terms of its commitment to organicism, than the extent to which it participates in the contestation of different and competing organicisms. In so doing, we will consider the different consequences‐‐aesthetic, social, and political‐‐of these different organic models. More specifically, we shall try to situate modernist literary production in relation to profound shifts that are taking place within philosophy and biological science in the first 30 years of the century, shifts that seek to move away from both essentially mechanistic understandings of the organism, and rigid distinctions between the organic and the inorganic. Alfred North Whitehead, for example, writes in 1925 that “Science is taking on a new aspect which is neither purely physical, nor purely biological. It is becoming the study of organisms” (103). In exploring the cultural consequences of this reconfiguration of scientific discourse and practice, we will be guided by a few key questions: How do changes in scientific and philosophical discourse alter our understanding of modernist literary production? How does literary discourse participate in, or contribute to, changes taking place in other spheres of cultural production (and science in particular)? To what extent do literary engagements with the problem of organicity anticipate subsequent shifts in scientific discourse which cannot be framed within the terms of the period's scientific orthodoxy? In addition to examining a crucial aspect of literary modernism, the course will thus also function as an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of science and culture‐‐and to the potential application of Science Studies models to literary study. As such our readings will include a selection of literary, scientific and philosophical texts from the period, as well as a selection of more recent theoretical work that will help us think about the methodological problems entailed in setting them in relation to one another. Method Seminar
Grading Seminar work 40%; Term Paper 45%, Participation 15% Texts (will include selections from the following): Henri Bergson: Creative Evolution Edward Carpenter: The Art of Creation Charles Darwin: The Origin of the Species Manuel Delanda: Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy Hans Driesch: The History and Theory of Vitalism T. S. Eliot: Notes Towards the Definition of Culture; The Waste Land; “Tradition and the Individual Talent” J. S. Haldane: The Organism and Environment Donna Haraway: Crystals, Fabrics and Fields: Metaphors That Shape Embryos Immanuel Kant: The Critique of Judgement Evelyn Fox Keller: Refiguring Life Bruno Latour: Pandora's Hope D.H. Lawrence: Fantasia of the Unconscious and Women in Love Wyndham Lewis: Tarr and selections from Time and Western Man Jean‐Luc Nancy: Inoperative Community Joseph Needham: Order and Life H. G. Wells: The Island of Dr. Moreau Alfred North Whitehead: Science and the Modern World Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray and "The Soul of Man Under Socialism" Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway and selections from her essays Please Note: This reading list is tentative and is intended only to suggest the range of possible material, and as such includes a broader range of material than we will actually address in the course. Students wishing to get a head start on the reading should contact me over the summer for a finalized list of readings. ENG 7320 “A.M. Klein, Irving Layton, and the Montreal Poets” Tuesday 5:30 ‐ 8:30 Professor Seymour Mayne Introduction This seminar will focus on the poetry and writings of A.M. Klein and Irving Layton. A close examination will be made of their major poems, critical prose, and fiction. Attention will be
given to the critical reception their work has received and to the singular critical problems that have attended their writings and careers which have shaped the evolving canon of Canadian literature. Their work will also be examined in relation to the writings of the McGill Movement, Preview and First Statement poets, and other major contemporary figures. Following on the interests of students enrolled in the seminar, we will consider the work of the following: F.R. Scott, A.J. M. Smith, John Glassco, Louis Dudek, John Sutherland, P.K. Page, Patrick Anderson, Miriam Waddington, and Leonard Cohen. Attention will also be paid to parallel and complementary Québecois poetry and poetics. Students will be encouraged to use the extensive resources of Library and Archives Canada as they pursue their interests and research in this course. Method Seminar and discussion; use of archival and audio‐visual material Grading Seminar presentation and report, class participation 50%; term paper 50% Texts The following texts are either in print and/or on reserve at Morisset Library. Many are also available from book dealers specialising in Canadiana: A Klein, A.M., Selected Poems, eds. Z. Pollock, S. Mayne, and U. Caplan (University of Toronto Press) ___________, The Second Scroll (McClelland and Stewart, New Canadian Library; University of Toronto Press) _________, Short Stories (University of Toronto Press) _________, Literary Essays and Reviews (University of Toronto Press) Layton, Irving, A Wild Peculiar Joy: The Selected Poems (McClelland and Stewart) _____________, Engagements: The Prose of Irving Layton (McClelland and Stewart) _____________, Waiting for the Messiah: A Memoir (McClelland and Stewart) B Leonard Cohen, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs (McClelland and Stewart) Louis Dudek and Michael Gnarowski, eds. The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada (Ryerson Press) John Glassco, ed. The Poetry of French Canada in Translation (Oxford University Press)
Seymour Mayne and B. Glen Rotchin, eds. A Rich Garland: Poems for A. M. Klein (Véhicule Press) P.K. Page, The Glass Air: Poems Selected and New (Oxford University Press) F.R. Scott, The Collected Poems (McClelland and Stewart) ________,trans. Poems of French Canada (Blackfish Press) A.J. M. Smith, Selected Writings, M. Gnarowski, ed. (Dundurn Group) John Sutherland, Essays, Controversies and Poems, M. Waddington, ed. McClelland and Stewart) Miriam Waddington, Collected Poems (Oxford University Press) ENG 7384 "Theorizing Environment ” Tuesday 10:00 ‐ 1:00 Professor Anne Raine Introduction In the past decade or so, critics working in the emerging fields of ecocriticism and environmental cultural studies have developed a range of approaches to the question of how to understand nature, or “the environment,” and its relationship to human social and cultural practice. While first‐wave ecocritics tended to focus on valorizing the critically neglected genre of nature writing, ecocritics now examine representations of environment in a wide range of texts and literary genres, and propose that we think of “environmentality” as category of analysis analogous to, and at least as important as, the more familiar critical categories of gender, race, class, and sexuality. This new category requires its own set of critical tools. Rather than simply analyzing images of nature in literary texts, ecocritics are now drawing on a variety of theoretical resources to historicize the concepts of nature and environment, to complicate reductive distinctions between nature and culture, and to develop more complex ways of understanding the relationships between human beings, individually and collectively, and the other agents and forces that constitute the more‐than‐human world. This seminar will provide an opportunity to explore some key issues in environmental cultural studies, and to grapple with some key texts that we can categorize under the loose heading of “environmental theory.” Put another way, it will also provide an introduction to some important areas in contemporary critical theory as viewed from an environmental perspective. We will focus primarily on coming to grips with the theoretical issues themselves, rather than trying to “apply” them to literary texts. However, we will also consider how these theoretical resources might be used in literary‐critical projects, as well as how they relate to more popular and activist environmental discourses. Each week we will read a primary theoretical text (or substantial sections of it) from the list below, plus a critical article that examines the primary text from the perspective of environmental cultural studies.
Because the point of the course is to begin to orient yourself within a complex field of challenging theoretical material, grading will be based on a series of short position papers rather than a long seminar paper at the end of term. Each participant will be responsible for three presentations in which you summarize key ideas from the week's readings and raise questions for discussion. You will also write three position papers that elaborate on ideas raised in your presentations and in the ensuing discussions. Method Seminar Grading Three presentations 10% each; three position papers 20% each; preparation and participation 10% Texts Readings will be drawn from the following texts, which will be on reserve at Morisset Library and available at the Agora Bookstore (http://www.sfuo.ca/Businesses/Agora/, 145 Besserer St. at Waller). In most cases, we will focus on selected chapters rather than the entire text. Participants are encouraged to buy the books and read as much of them as possible, as most will be valuable additions to your critical library. However, if financial constraints require you to be selective in your book purchases, contact the instructor for more information before you buy. Participants will be expected to have done some of the reading in preparation for the first class meeting. Contact the instructor for details. Charles Darwin, Darwin (Norton Critical Edition), 3rd ed. (2000) ed. Philip Appleman Karl Marx, Selected Writings (ed. Hackett) Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings (HarperCollins) Maurice Merleau‐Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception (Routledge) Bruno Latour, Pandora's Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies (Harvard UP) Donna Haraway, The Haraway Reader (Routledge) Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto (Prickly Paradigm) Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life (Knopf) Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (U of Minnesota P) Cary Wolfe, ed. Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (U of Minnesota P) Deborah Barndt, Tangled Routes: Women, Work, & Globalization on the Tomato Trail (Rowman & Littlefield) Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild (Shoemaker & Hoard) Photocopied course packet (also available at the Agora)
Winter 2011 ENG 6310 “Medieval Epic, Middle Ages as Epic” Wednesday 10:00 ‐1:00 Professor Geoff Rector Introduction During the course of the 19th century, a series of medieval narrative works were taken up into national literary canons as `epics': Beowulf, the Song of Roland, the Niebelungenlied, the Canto del Mio Cid. In every case, these works were held up as the origins of their respective national literary traditions, occupying a place that, in the 19th century literary imagination, had been held by the Iliad and the Aeneid in the two great classical canons: as the great, primitive, sublime expressions of a national Weltanschauung. Since then, both modern genre theory and the basic models of European national literary history have left these accounts of the medieval `epic' untouched. In the 20th century, particularly through the influence of Hegel and Lukacs, this account of the epic in its medieval form, in particular, took on renewed importance, imagining these epics as the originary texts of national literary cultures prior to the fragmentation, relativization, alienation, and `transcendental homelessness' that characterize modernity. Rather oddly, this model ‐ expressed by authors as different as Hegel, Lukacs, Adorno and Horkenheimer, W.P. Ker, R. W. Southern, and Northrop Frye ‐ effectively equated the Middle Ages (the great period of national, feudal stasis, wholeness, locality, and plentitude from which modernity emerges as rupture) with the epic itself. Yet, the works themselves bear almost no resemblance to either classical epic or to the picture of wholeness and plentitude attributed to them. They are more fragmented, more alienated, and more relativized (by race, by class and ‐ in particular ‐ by gender) than these theories can or will allow. This class will read a series of medieval narrative works now categorized as epic in the context of these various theories of emergence (of the novel, of modernity). The goal will be to re‐ assess both sides of the equation: are these works epics and in what sense? what characteristics do they share? how might they be relativized in ways that challenge these models of emergence? can they be fit into modern national categories? how do we assess the disjunction between the texts and their place in theories of genre, nation, and modernity? Can this question help us re‐assess what modernity is? Method Seminar Grading Participation/ attendance 20%; Final paper 40%; Seminar Presentation 20%; Two short thematic presentations 10% each (20% total)
Texts Representative/ Tentative Reading List: Primary Beowulf The Song of Roland The Niebelungenlied El Canto del Mio Cid, Walter of Châtillon, Alexandreis Raoul de Cambrai the William of Orange cycle Girart de Vienne Secondary: excerpts from Hegel, Schiller and Goethe Carlyle, “On Heroes and Hero‐Worship” Lukacs, Theory of the Novel Walter Benjamin: “The Storyteller,” and selections from Origins of Tragic Drama. Adorno “On Epic Naiveté,' Frederic Jameson, “Walter Benjamin; or, Nostalgia,” in Marxism and Form: Twentieth‐Century Dialectical Theories of Literature. Princeton, N. J., Princeton University Press, 1972, 60‐83. Frye, Northrop, `Theory of Genres' Sarah Kay, The Chansons de Geste in the Age of Romance: Political Fictions. R. M. Liuzza, “On the Dating of Beowulf.” Frantzen, "Origins, Orientalism, and Anglo‐Saxonism" Bjork, "Nineteenth‐Century Scandinavia and the Birth of Anglo‐Saxon Studies" Niles, "Appropriations: A Concept of Culture" Niles, "Locating Beowulf in Literary History" (CR) Howe, "Beowulf and the Ancestral Homeland" (CR) ENG 6330 "Early Modern Manuscripts and the History of the Book” Tuesday 1:00 – 4:00 Professor Victoria Burke Introduction It has long been accepted that to analyze only the products of print culture is to ignore a significant percentage of literary output in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, both canonical (many of the works of Philip Sidney and John Donne, for example) and less mainstream. But the physical features of those manuscript texts have not always been thought essential to our understanding of them. Indeed, research into the materiality of manuscript
texts is sometimes still seen as esoteric and irrelevant to the content of a particular work. The apparently arcane topics of codicology (or the physical examination of manuscripts) such as collation, watermarks, and binding, and of paleography (or the study of handwriting), transcription practices (such as layout), attribution, provenance, and transmission, have crucial things to say about how particular manuscripts were put together. An understanding of a manuscript's compilation can, in turn, reveal much about the status of particular items in individual manuscripts, their intended and actual functions, and their aesthetic value. Practitioners of book history continue to produce important insights into how a book's circumstances of publication, dissemination, and reception affect its meaning. Recent scholars, such as Jessica Brantley, Alexandra Gillespie, and Margaret Ezell, have charged that historians of the book have not paid sufficient attention to manuscript production and publication, and particularly in the centuries after the establishment of the printing press in England (c. 1476) when manuscript culture continued to flourish. A handwritten document's textual and physical features can be even more idiosyncratic than those of a printed book, and the agents that influenced it (including compilers, scribes, binders, readers, and annotators) could differ from those in print culture. This course will allow an examination of the extent to which insights in manuscript studies can enrich the field of book history, which is still largely configured as an exploration of the significance of print. Students will read some foundational criticism in both manuscript studies and book history, including attempts to articulate the fields as disciplines, explorations of the relationship between material form and meaning, and evidence of the interplay between manuscript and print in the early modern period. Students will also explore online tutorials (such as “English Handwriting 1500‐1700: An Online Course” from the University of Cambridge and “The Early Modern Material Text” from the University of Pennsylvania) and resources relevant to the study of both manuscript and print. These will include “Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online”; “Literary Manuscripts: 17th and 18th Century Poetry from the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds”; “Perdita Manuscripts I: Women's Writing, 1500‐1700”; and “Early English Books Online” (a digitized collection of books printed in English from 1473‐ 1700). The course will analyze a number of works of poetry including the sonnet sequences of Philip Sidney, William Shakespeare, and Mary Wroth, and the verse of John Donne, George Herbert, and Katherine Philips, exploring, among other topics, the extent to which the content of a text and its physical presentation should be considered in tandem. Method Seminar Grading Seminar presentations and participation 50%; term paper 50%.
Specifically: Participation 15%; First presentation and write‐up 10%; Second presentation and write‐up 25%; Term paper 50% Texts Sir Philip Sidney: The Major Works, ed. Katherine Duncan‐Jones (Oxford University Press, 1989) The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth, ed. Josephine A. Roberts (Louisiana State University Press, 1983) Seventeenth‐Century British Poetry 1603‐1660, ed. John P. Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin (Norton, 2006) Course reader ENG 6360 “Authenticity, Imitation, Fraud, and Forgery in Eighteenth‐Century Literature” Friday 10:00 – 1:00 Professor Frans De Bruyn Introduction The eighteenth century witnessed several spectacular literary controversies generated by claims of exciting literary discoveries: works by previously unknown authors (Ossian and Rowley), manuscript documents belonging to William Shakespeare, and alleged evidence of plagiarism on the part of John Milton or of editorial interference in the publication of his work. These and other literary disputes have generated considerable critical interest of late. In this seminar we will explore the cultural context that enabled them. We will begin with the changing standards of textual scholarship that allowed Richard Bentley to refute the claims of Sir William Temple that the Epistles of Phalaris and the works of Aesop were the greatest and earliest texts of classical antiquity, and we will explore the literary culture of imitation (such as Pope’s imitations of Horace) that gave rise to questions about literary authenticity and originality. Then we will turn to Bentley’s ill‐fated edition of Paradise Lost, William Lauder’s allegations (initially supported by Samuel Johnson) that Milton plagiarized his epic poem from a number of obscure neo‐Latin poems, James Macpherson’s claim that he had recovered ancient Gaelic epic poetry by the bard Ossian, Thomas Chatterton’s production of poems by the fictitious late‐medieval poet Rowley, and William Henry Ireland’s wholesale forgery of documents allegedly in Shakespeare’s hand. What these and other hoaxes in the eighteenth century reveal are problematic ideas of the nature of fictionality, standards of literary and historical evidence, historical authenticity, originality, a growing literary nationalism, the status of classical culture, commercial pressures in an age of print, and the social status of writers, among other issues. Method Seminar and Discussion
Grading Seminar presentation 30%; research paper 60%; class participation 10% Texts The following is a selected list of texts we will consider. They are available online in the ECCO electronic database. Sir William Temple, “Essay on Ancient and Modern Learning” Richard Bentley, Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides and Others; and the Fables of Aesop, in William Wotton, Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning Geogre Psalmanazar, An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa . . . Together with a Relation of What Happen'd to the Author in His Travels. Alexander Pope, selected Imitations of Horace. William Lauder, contributions to the Gentleman’s Magazine and An Essay on Milton's Use and Imitation of the Moderns. John Douglas, Milton Vindicated from the Charge of Plagiarism, Brought against Him by Mr Lauder. Edward Young, Conjectures on Original Composition. James Macpherson, Fragments of Ancient Poetry Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Ossian’s Fingal. Thomas Percy, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry John Pinkerton, Scottish Tragic Ballads Thomas Chatterton, Poems, Supposed to Have Been Written at Bristol in the Fifteenth Century, by Thomas Rowley, Priest, &c. Samuel Ireland, Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare, a publication of documents forged by Ireland’s son. Commentaries on literary fraud by Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Warton, Hugh Blair, and Edmond Malone ENG 6362 “The Anecdote in Eighteenth‐Century Literature” Wednesday 1:00 ‐ 4:00 Professor April London Introduction In his Dissertation on Anecdotes, Isaac D'Israeli identifies the intellectual credibility of the anecdote with its unsettling of the connections between public and private, action and motivation, and real and nominal authority, a capacity that makes possible its evocation of "the art as well as the Artist; of the war as well as the General; of the nation as well as the
Monarch." Following D'Israeli's lead, we will investigate the long eighteenth century's adaptation of the anecdote as a significant heuristic device, one particularly suited to political argument by its interest in establishing the grounds for authentic or reliable representation. The anecdote's questioning of narrative principles of coherence will be explored though a range of eighteenth‐century and Romantic forms, both emergent (novel, key novel, table talk) and traditional (antiquarianism, secret history, biography, lyric, historiography). Method Seminar Grading Direction of two seminars, active participation in peers' seminars, 1 page conference proposal, conference‐length paper Texts Jane Barker, Galesia Trilogy Delarivier Manley, New Atalantis and Rivella Henry Fielding, Tom Jones Sarah Fielding, Lives of Cleopatra and Octavia William Mason, Poems and Letters of Thomas Gray and Memoirs of his Life and Writings Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy Walter Scott, The Antiquary Selections from Isaac D'Israeli, Calamities and Quarrels of Authors, Curiosities of Literature, Literary Miscellanies Selections from Wordsworth's poetry and from the Table Talk of Hester Lynch Piozzi, William Hazlitt, and S.T. Coleridge ENG 7300 "Thomas Hardy" Monday 1:00 ‐ 4:00 Professor Keith Wilson Introduction This course involves detailed analysis of the major fiction and poetry of Thomas Hardy. Hardy's reputation as a writer who achieves major status in more than one genre and his historical position as a nineteenth‐century novelist and twentieth‐century poet make him a unique transitional figure. A man whose youth saw the publication of Darwin's work muses in old age over Einstein; the younger contemporary of Dickens, Trollope and George Eliot anticipates the narrative techniques and perceptual presuppositions of Lawrence, Woolf, and Joyce; the young
admirer of Swinburne lives to copy extracts from T. S. Eliot's early poetry into his notebooks. By an accident of birth, longevity, generic range, and temperamental and philosophical disposition, there is no other single English writer who offers such an advantageous standpoint from which to examine the movement from high and late Victorianism to early Modernism. The course will examine the intellectual and socio‐political backgrounds to Hardy's work. It will attempt to define his status as a great regional novelist who achieves such a meta‐regional proto‐ modernist reputation, and to chart his influence as a poet on the subsequent course of twentieth‐century English poetry. Method Seminar Grading Seminars 2 X 15%; weekly discussion points and overall contribution 30%; term/research paper 40 % Texts Under the GreenwoodTree (Penguin Classics) Far From the Madding Crowd (Penguin Classics) The Return of the Native (Penguin Classics) The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Classics) The Woodlanders (Penguin Classics) Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Penguin Classics) Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics) The Complete Poems, ed. James Gibson (Macmillan) TEXTS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT BENJAMIN BOOKS ENG 7311 "Nature and Nationhood in the American Poetics of Emerson, Whitman, and Melville” Monday 5:30 ‐8:30 Professor Bernhard Radloff Introduction This course will examine the relation between the discourses of nature, nation, and the poetics of Emerson, Whitman, and Melville. We will begin with a close examination of Emerson's “Nature” and several key essays, followed by readings of Melville's Moby Dick and Whitman's Leaves of Grass conceived as responses to Emerson and the central questions of the course.
Our objective will be to uncover the foundations of the "American sublime" as articulated by the unity of nature, national identity, and American poetics. Method Seminar Grading Paper 1 20%; Seminar 30%; Final Paper 50% Texts Emerson, Emerson's Prose and Poetry (Norton Critical) Melville, Moby‐Dick (Norton Critical) Whitman, Leaves of Grass (Norton Critical) ENG7321 “Some Versions of (Canadian ) Pastoral” Thursday 10:00 ‐1:00 Professor Robert Stacey Introduction This course reads works of modern and contemporary Canadian poetry and fiction which rely upon or otherwise invoke pastoral tropes and conventions. In the minds of many people, pastoral writing is related to beautiful landscapes and grazing sheep. In this course, we will be emphasizing the social and 'dialogical' qualities of pastoral, and treating it as the formal embodiment of social and literary 'vulnerability.' Implicit in pastoral, Paul Alpers argues, is a necessary "acceptance of limitation.” Often dramatizing a rejection or loss of power, the pastoral is especially suited to the representation of reduced circumstances, of duress, constraint and failure. The pastoral is, as a consequence, the mode par excellence of personal and social uncertainty, an idea inscribed in the very inadequacy or fragility of pastoral writing itself. For many reasons which we will explore in this course, the pastoral has been useful to Canadian cultural producers, especially in relation to their attempts to explore social difference and questions of 'literary power.' (One trend worth noting here is the return to traditional and highly conventional pastoral forms in recent, politically‐engaged, postmodern Canadian poetry, some of which we will be reading in this course.) Since many students may not be familiar with the pastoral tradition, the contemporary Canadian work will be supplemented with a few exemplary texts from the Classical and English traditions as well as important works of pastoral criticism.
Method Seminar Grading Research paper 50%; seminar presentation 35%; participation 15% Texts This is a TENTATIVE reading list. Students should contact the instructor before class begins for the finalized reading list. James Reaney, A Suit of Nettles (1958) Al Purdy, In Search of Owen Roblin (1974) Phyllis Webb, selected poems [course kit] Joy Kogawa, Obasan (1980) Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion (1987) Jacques Poulin, Volkswagen Blues ( 1988) George Eliot Clarke, Whylah Falls (1990) Lisa Robertson, XEclogue (1999) Erin Mouré, Sheep's Vigil by a Fervent Person (2001) Dionne Brand, Thirsty (2002) Mark Truscott, Said Like Reeds or Things (2004) Steve McCaffery, Bouma Shapes (2002) Virgil, The Eclogues [trans Guy Lee, Penguin] Edmund Spenser, Shepheardes Calendar [course kit] John Milton, “Lycidas” [course kit] Andrew Marvel, “The Garden” [course kit] + Course kit of supplementary critical material
Published on Jun 4, 2010