English 3440. 003 British Anglophone Literature, 1780 to the 20th century

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English 3440.003

British Anglophone Literature, 1780 to the 20th century
Professor Dahlia Porter e-mail: dahlia.porter@unt.edu

Meeting time: M 6-8:50pm office hours: MW 11-1 & by appointment

Location: Language 113 office: Language 409F

The Enlightenment has conventionally marked the end of an era ripe with superstition, mysticism, and magic. However, the rise of experimental science in Britain also saw an outpouring literature concerned with the unexplainable and strange. From Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancyent Marinere” to Shelley’s Frankenstein to Rosetti’s “Goblin Market” to Stevenson’s Jekyl and Hyde, the literature of the modern era is littered with impossible settings, ghostly hauntings, unaccountable transformations, and characters whose magnetic power fascinates and draws you into their tales. These literary texts were incredibly popular in their own time, and continue to spawn versions of themselves—illustrations, paintings, graphic novels, films, songs, anime, and commercials—in the digital age. In this survey of Anglophone literature, we will explore two broad questions: why were 19th and 20th-century authors obsessed with the impossible, perverse, and strange? And what gives the works they produced such lasting appeal? To answer these questions, we’ll approach literary texts in three ways: first, by attending closely to their content and form; second, by situating each work in its historical, social, and cultural context; and third, by considering a variety of ways these works have been “remediated” in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Required texts:

You are REQUIRED to have a copy of the books below and bring them to class. Failure to do so will result in being counted absent. Kindle versions are acceptable; versions that cannot be downloaded onto a device are not. All additional readings will be provided in a course pack (CP)

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: Concise Volume B, 2nd ed. (Broadview, 2013)

ISBN: 9781551118697

Walpole, Castle of Otranto (Penguin, 2002) ISBN-10: 0199537216

Shelley, Frankenstein: Original 1818 Text, 3rd ed. (Broadview, 2012), ISBN: 9781554811038

Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 2nd ed. (Broadview, 2005)

ISBN-13: 978-0199536221

Reading Schedule:
Week 1: Course Introduction: Impossible, Perverse and Strange

M 8/24 Literature and Remediation: Two Case Studies

Wordsworth, “I wandered lonely as a cloud” (BA 169-71)

Burns, “Auld Lang Syne” (BA 135)

Week 2: Animate Objects, Gothic Fictions

M 8/31 Walpole, Castle of Otranto

“Sense” from The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert (CP)

Hoffman, “The Sandman” (CP)

M 9/7 No class: Labor Day Holiday

Week 3: Revolution and Romanticism

M 9/14 “The Age of Romanticism” (BA 1-30) + color images (between BA 38 & 39)

British Newspaper Coverage of the French Revolution:


Burns, “Why shouldna the poor folk mowe?” (CP)

Wordsworth, “I Griev’d for Buonaparté” and “The world is too much with us” (BA

164, 168)

Shelley, “Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Bonaparte” and “England in

1819” (BA 413 & CP)

Political cartoons by Gilray

Death of Marat: look at all the images on the wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Marat
Week 4: Ghosts of Childhood: Innocence and Experience

M 9/21 Blake, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (BA 60-71)

**for images, see the Blake Archive: http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/

Wordsworth, “We are Seven” (BA 136-40); “Strange fits of passion I have

known,” “Song,” “A slumber,” and “Lucy Gray” (BA 155-7)
Week 5: Perception & Deception: The Bard and the Byronic Hero

M 9/28 Taylor, “Lenore” (CP)

Lewis, “Alonzo the Brave and the Fair Imogene” (CP)

Scott, “Glenfinlas” (CP)

Coleridge, “Kubla Khan” (BA 307-8)

Byron, “Darkness” (BA 365-6) and “The Byronic Hero” (BA 371-76)

Week 6: Perverted Education = Strange Science

M 10/5 Explication and Parody due

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein vol. 1-2 (pp. 49-160)

Appendix B, Davy (pp. 245-9) and Appendix C (pp. 251-271)

Excepts from Mary and Percy Shelley, History of a Six Weeks’ Tour (CP)

Shelley, “Mont Blanc” (BA 395-7)

Week 7: Monstrosity

M 10/12 Midterm Exam: 6-7pm

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, vol. 3 (pp. 161-221)

Excerpts from M. Shelley’s Journals (CP); Frankenstein’s Womb (Blackboard)

Week 8: Industrial Revolution: Voices from Below

M 10/19 “The Victorian Era” (BA 498-541); from “Work and Poverty” (BA 574-580); Hood, “Song of the Shirt” (BA 580-1); Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “The Cry of the Children” (BA 634-6); “A Year’s Spinning” (BA 636-7)

Arnold, “The Buried Life” (BA 797-802); “East London,” “West London” (810-11)
Week 9: Romance Perverted

M 10/26 Place of Women in Society (BA 610-12); Taylor, “Enfranchisement of Women”

(BA 615-18)

Keats, “La Belle Dame san Merci” and “La Belle Dame sans Mercy” (BA 449-50)

Keats, “Isabella; or, the Pot of Basil” (CP)

Tennyson, “Marianna” (BA 643-6); “The Lady of Shalott” (BA 651-3)

Week 10: Murderers, Ghosts and Goblins

M 11/2 Robert Browning, “Porphyria's Lover” (BA 732-4); “My Last Duchess” (BA 735-6)

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, “The Blessed Damozel” (BA 824-8)

Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market” (BA 839-47)

“The Great Exhibition” (BA 1011-1019)
Week 11: Doppelgängers

M 11/9 Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (p. 33-90)

Conrad, “Secret Sharer” (BA 1108-1132)

Remediation Assignment due
Week 12: Nonsense and Logic

M 11/16 Doyle, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (BA 968-83)

Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (BA 918-19 & 924-55); Wilde and “The

Public,” (BA 956-67)

Week 13: Haunted by War

M 11/23 The Early 20th Century (BA 1037-68); War and Revolutions (BA 1148-54);

Hardy, “The Darling Thrush” (BA 892); “Channel Firing” (BA 894-5)

Kipling, “Epitaphs of War” (CP)

Yeats, “The Second Coming” (BA 1178); “Sailing to Byzantium” (BA 1180-1)

Woolf, “The Mark on the Wall” (BA 1185-91)

Eliot, “Love Song of J. Alfred Proofrock” (BA 1308-13)
Week 14: Theater of the Absurdly Real

M 11/30 Beckett, “Krapp’s Last Tape” (BA 1388-94)

Cleese and Chapman, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” (BA 1491-6)

Ishiguro, “A Village after Dark” (BA 1553-60)

Smith, “The Waiter’s Wife” (BA 1568-80)
M 12/7 Final Exam, 6-8pm


Explication and Parody of a poem (15%)

Midterm exam (15%)

Remediation research assignment (25%)

Comprehensive Final Exam (25%)

Participation in class discussion, in-class exercises, quizzes, and group work (20%)

Explication and Parody/Imitation

The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice in close reading literary texts (which will be useful for the mid-term and final exam), and to enhance your understanding of poetic form. The assignment has two parts, an explication and a parody.

Explication: Two double-spaced pages (500-600 words)

Working with a poem we read in the first five weeks of class, first write a two-page (500-600 word) explication. The verb "explicate" comes from a Latin word meaning “to unfold.” The purpose of an explication is to unfold the significance of a literary work. Working line by line from the beginning of the poem (or with a short passage, if you chose a longer poem), begin to unfold its meaning. You should pay attention to all the relevant devices the poet uses to create meaning: line length, meter, rhyme, assonance, alliteration, word choice, metaphors, similes, and so on. Note: If you are doing the explication right, there is no way you will finish explicating the whole poem in two pages. If you get to the end of the poem, go back and figure out what you’ve missed!

Parody/Imitation: (about 30 lines, unless you choose a sonnet).

Working with the same poem as above, compose an original imitation or parody of it. Pay special attention to the form of the poem you have chosen and to the figures and rhetorical devices the author uses—your composition should mirror or play with these formal elements as much as with the text's content. I encourage you to write for our modern world and its modern readers (your peers and myself). However, you should also remember that all parody and imitation pays homage (in a negative or positive way) to an earlier historical and literary moment, and your work should convey the sense of its engagement with another time and place.

Remediation research assignment

This assignment aims to give you a deeper understanding of how literature was published, received and remediated in the 19th century. You will choose one poem, novel, or story and conduct research on the original publication context, the reviews it received when it was published, and how it was republished, repackaged and remediated across the 19th and 20th centuries. The assignment has four parts, each of which require research in the library as well as online. DO NOT wait until the last minute to start this assignment!

Evaluation Criteria: You will be graded on the quality and nuance of your research, the clarity of your presentation of the information, and the inclusion of correct citations for ALL sources consulted. Please use MLA style citations in the text of your essays, and make sure to a complete bibliography, including both works you cite in the paper and works you consulted in your research.
This assignment has four parts. Each part is worth 25% of the final paper grade.

  1. Chose a work of literature that we read in the class so far; research its original publication. Here are some questions to guide your research: was it published in a book or in a magazine? Under a pseudonym or under the author’s real name? Was the author famous or unknown when it was published? Who was the publisher? What do we know about the publisher? Where was it published? You will find looking at the original title page for the first edition of a book useful for answering these questions. You will also find relevant information about authors and publishers in the Dictionary of National Biography, which is available through the UNT library. Write a one to two-page (300-500 word) summary of your findings; include source citations in the text or as footnotes; make sure ALL your sources appear in the final bibliography.

  2. Locate, photocopy or print out, and read at least three reviews of the work from the years directly after its first publication. You will find several sources useful for this research: volumes like The Romantics Reviewed and the Critical Heritage series (on reserve at the library), the online database British Periodicals (available through the library website), and Google books all include nineteenth-century reviews. (Note: You will need to look up the author or the book title, not the poem title, when you are looking for reviews of poems.) Here are some questions to consider: how was the book received by critics? Did they love it or hate it? What language do reviewers use to describe the author and/or the work? What issues interest the critics most? In this section, your might also consider the popularity of the book or magazine in which the work appeared. Is any information available (in biographies of the author or scholarly articles) about how well the book sold, or the circulation of the magazine in which the work appeared? How did the publisher advertise the book? Write a two-page (500-600 word) summary of your findings; include source citations in the text or as footnotes; make sure ALL your sources appear in the final bibliography.

  3. Using the UNT library catalogue and google books, find four different publication formats of the work you are researching. A “publication format” can be any work that includes the poem (like a new edition or a collection of the author’s work), or any work that remediates the poem into a different format or media (like a symphony or graphic novel). Two of the works must be from Special Collections or library remote storage, and must be from the nineteenth or early 20th century (before 1920). You must examine the physical copy of these works (take photos!). The other two repackagings can be accessed through any available research tool (Google books, archive.org, an anthology, Special Collections or any place in the library, including the music library, or your personal collection). As you examine these works, consider how each book “packages” or remediates the original publication. For example, does the repackaging include illustrations, such as an author portrait, scenes, or other kinds of graphic elements? Does it include the full text or excerpts? How much does the repackaged work resemble the original publication? Does it introduce minor changes to the original, or does it completely transform it? Write a three-page (800-900 word) essay describing the most striking features of each repackaging. Make sure to include full citations for all four works discussed in the essay in your final bibliography.

  4. Finally, reflect on your research process in a two-page (500-600 word) statement. After researching the original publication, reception, and repackaging of the work, what conclusions can you draw about the remediation of this work more broadly? Some questions you might consider: Was it difficult or easy to find repackaged versions of the work? Was the work repackaged continually throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, or was it more popular at certain moments? What does this suggest about the work’s popularity? Has the audience for the work changed? What does the repackaging of the work over time suggest about the lasting appeal of the work?

Reading & Quizzes: Complete all the readings for the day listed on the syllabus. There will be more reading in some weeks than others, so plan accordingly. Some days you will have less than five pages of reading. However, the poems we are reading are stylistically and formally complex, and they will require your focused attention in order to gather up their full significance. Book time to read each poem at least twice, and read with a pen or pencil in hand to note odd turns of phrase or any place where the structure or figures have made reading difficult. I will periodically give reading quizzes, which will contribute to your participation grade.
Participation: I expect every class member to take an active approach to learning in this course. This means I expect you to be present at all meetings (see attendance), to have read the texts carefully, and to be alert and ready to contribute to our discussions. Beyond offering comments in class, you should plan to participate actively in group work and in-class writing exercises. I will give lively and thoughtful participation considerable weight in your final grade.
Attendance: I will allow you one unexcused absence during the semester, which I encourage you to use if you have a flu-like illness. After this “free” day, every additional absence will decrease your final grade by 1/3 of a letter. Please be aware that excessive lateness, leaving early, or not having the required book or course pack will count as an absence. If you experience a serious medical problem and will miss two or more classes, please get a note from your doctor and contact me as soon as possible so I can help you make up any work you have missed.
Resources: A wealth of resources—including links to timelines, full text databases, author pages—are available on the course Blackboard site. To prepare for our discussions of poetry, I suggest you read the basic information about poetic form (including meter and rhyme) in the "Essay on Versification" posted on the Blackboard site under "Course Information." If you are unsure about how to identify a Petrarchan sonnet or what iambic hexameter looks like, this guide has the answer. I will also post in-class exercises, powerpoint presentations, and other information on Blackboard that will be helpful as you review for the midterm and final exams.
Citation: You must cite your sources in all your written work, either using parenthetical citations in the text or using footnotes. I prefer you use MLA style citation, which you can view at . All of your papers must also include a list of works cited,. You must also cite any outside sources you consult, paraphrase, or quote in your papers, including web sources.
Academic Integrity: Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are defined in the UNT Policy on Student Standards for Academic Integrity. Any suspected case of Academic Dishonesty in this course will be handled in accordance with the University Policy and procedures. Possible academic penalties range from a verbal or written admonition to a grade of “F” in the course. Further sanctions may apply to incidents involving major violations.
Please see the UNT Policy on Academic Integrity for more information.
While upholding the policy on Academic Integrity, I also wish to foster a collaborative learning environment in this course, one in which we develop ideas and work through problems together. While you should not replicate our in-class discussions in your papers, using them as a springboard for your own work is acceptable and encouraged.

ENGL3440.003 | Anglophone Literature | Porter | Fall 2015 | of

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