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Syllabus for English 332:
The Victorians

Monday, January 21

First day: Introductions and course outline


Wednesday, January 23

  • Germaine de Staël, Corinne, or Italy (1807), 5-105

    • Stael.org is by far the best place on the Internet for looking into Staël's life and career. The drawback (for some readers) is that it's in French.

    • Here is a brief biography of Staël with links to contextual information. (This comes from the publicly available section of the Penn CD-ROM edition of Frankenstein.)

Group I response: This novel works partly by building analogies between personal and political relationships. Discuss one or more ways that issues of nationality or politics affect issues we would normally think of as novelistically personal in the reading for today.

Note: here and throughout this syllabus, the first (less indented) reading or link is required, while the second (more indented) reading or link is supplemental and optional. Here, for example, the reading from Corinne is required, whereas exploring the websites is optional.


Monday, January 28

  • Staël, Corinne, or Italy, 105-263

Group II response: Using any moment or passage from Group I's responses as a jumping-off point, extend the issues we discussed for Tuesday into the readings for today.


Wednesday, January 30

  • Staël, Corinne, or Italy, 263-350

Group III response: open response


Monday, February 4

  • Staël, Corinne, or Italy, 350-404

  • Esterhammer, Angela. "The Cosmopolitan Improvvisatore: Spontaneity and Performance in Romantic Poetics"

Group IV response: open response


Wednesday, February 6

Group I response: Waverley is routinely called the first historical novel. (Some critics dispute that claim, but don't let that trouble you for the moment.) Keeping in mind the idea that Scott is writing more or less a new sort of book, look for ways in which he engages his readers in the process of making sense of its genre. You might consider what explicit statements Scott makes about other genres, the way he creates one or more personae for the "author" in the text, or how he apologizes for certain features of the text.


Monday, February 11

  • Scott, Waverley, 100-264

Group II response: open response


Wednesday, February 13

  • Scott, Waverley, 264-347

Group III response: Use this response to return to our initial concern with Corinne, the interaction between personal and political plots and how each affects the other's meaning. Choose a specific focus within that broad field for the response.


Monday, February 18

  • Scott, Waverley, 347-450

Group IV response: Using any moment or passage from Group III's responses as a jumping-off point, extend the issues we discussed for Tuesday into the readings for today.


Wednesday, February 20

  • Scott, Waverley, 451-494

  • Joseph Valente, "Upon the Braes: History and Hermeneutics in Waverley"

Group I response: open response


Monday, February 25

  • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The Improvisatrice (1824, handout)

  • Tricia Lootens, "Receiving the Legend, Rethinking the Writer: Letitia Landon and the Poetess Tradition" in Romanticism and Women Poets, ed. Behrendt and Linkin.

    • Here is the only thorough site devoted to LEL.

Group II response: Discuss some aspect of the relationship between Landon's poem and Corinne.


Wednesday, February 27

This will be the first class dedicated to preparing for the process of researching your final papers. Each of you will read one critical work on the readings to date and come to class prepared to discuss the work.

Group III response: write an annotation of your chosen work and post it as a response on Blackboard. We will discuss these annotations in class.


Monday, March 3

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (1856), first book

Group IV response: open response


Wednesday, March 5

  • Browning, Aurora Leigh, second book

Group I response: open response


Friday, March 7

SHORTER PAPER DUE
UNDER MY OFFICE DOOR
BY 3:00 P.M.


Monday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 12

NO CLASS THIS WEEK:

CONTINUE READING AURORA LEIGH
TO BE READY TO DISCUSS IT
THROUGH BOOK EIGHT
AFTER SPRING BREAK


SPRING BREAK

Monday, March 31

  • Browning, Aurora Leigh, through the eighth book

Group II response: open response


Wednesday, April 2

  • Browning, Aurora Leigh, ninth book

  • Linda Peterson, "Rewriting A History of the Lyre: Letitia Landon, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the (Re)Construction of the Nineteenth-Century Woman Poet," in Women's Poetry, Late Romantic to Late Victorian: Gender and Genre, 1830-1900, ed. Isobel Armstrong and Virginia Blain

Group III response: open response


Monday, April 7

  • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)

    • Dictionary of Literary Biography (subscription only): Dickens as novelist

    • Dickens has attracted a fair amount of attention on the Web, and the best door to that information is David Perdue's Dickens Page.

Group IV response: open response


Wednesday, April 9

Library day! Details to be announced. You don't have any reading for today, but I intend this as a time to get started reading The Mill on the Floss. We'll be discussing a big chunk of the novel on Monday.


Thursday, April 10

PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE BY EMAIL


Monday, April 14

Group I response: open response


Wednesday, April 16

  • Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Book 3

Group II response: open response


Friday, April 18

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE
UNDER MY OFFICE DOOR
BY 3:00


Monday, April 21

  • Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, through Book 6, chapter 7

Group III response: open response


Wednesday, April 23

  • Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, through the end

Group IV response: open response


Monday, April 28

  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Mariana" (1830), "The Lady of Shalott" (1831-32/1842), and "The Palace of Art" (1832)

  • Nina Auerbach, "The Rise of the Fallen Woman," Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 35, No. 1. (Jun., 1980)

Group I response: open response


Wednesday, April 30

  • Tennyson, Maud: A Monodrama (1855)

Group II response: open response


Monday, May 5

  • Tennyson, The Princess (1847)

Group III response: open response


Tuesday, May 6

PROGRESS REPORT DUE
TODAY BY EMAIL


Wednesday, May 7

Last day of class: wrapping up, last questions, inflating the official class balloon for the big term paper parade.


Tuesday, May 13

FINAL PAPER DUE BY NOON

 

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