Sample Course Offerings - 19th Century
ENGL 471: Poetry of the Romantic Period: Curating Romantic Poetry - Dr. Steven Jones
The Romantic period was arguably the birth of the idea of the literary canon and the modern anthology as well as the modern museum. Romantic poetry is itself a site of collecting, curating, and archiving the past; and today’s digital scholarship often confronts the problems associated with archiving and collecting. Our topics of discussion will thus include the origins of literary studies in the Romantic period, the aura of romantic objects in various states of reproduction, the state of literary criticism in our present moment, the role of digital humanities approaches and tools in literary studies today, and the critical and interpretive implications of collecting, archiving, digitizing.
ENGL 470: Topics in Romanticism: Polite Satanism and Enthusiastic Devilry- Dr. Jack Cragwall
An exploration of the cultural history of the demonic in seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century Britain. Few figures were more important to the age's intellectual history than John Milton's Satan, who towered over respectable poetry, and was reinvented by radical thinkers as a model for righteous rebellion. Meanwhile, the Devil dominated popular culture, as tens of thousands of men and women fell into screaming fits at Methodist revivals. While much of our focus will be on poetry – Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, Byron – we'll also read quite a bit of prose, including Frankenstein.
ENGL 475: Topics in Victorian: G. Eliot, T. Hardy and Their Successors- Dr. Peter Shillingsburg
Focusing on theory of the novel (structure, narrative technique, character development, point of view, moral center, aesthetic values, etc.), we will read two novels each by Eliot and Hardy in the first half of the course. In the second half we will read two twentieth century imitations of Victorian novels (John Fowles' French Lieutenant's Woman and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargaso Sea) and two novels that are rebellions against Victorian novels (Virginia Woolf's Orlando and James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist).
ENGL 493: American Realism - Dr. Jack Kerkering
This course examines both the theory and practice of literary Realism as it is manifested in the criticism and fiction of a variety of writers including William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, George Washington Cable, Henry James, Stephen Crane, Ellen Glasgow, Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, and Frank Norris. Special emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary Realists define their work as against competing modes of writing (for example sentimentalism, regionalism, naturalism, and modernism) and by association with contemporary forms of labor (including wage labor and market speculation).