Mar 31, 2020  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENG 323-01 - Studies in English Literature: 1660-1798

4 credits (Fall)
Can Literature Enlighten? or, Educational and Literary Forms in the Long Eighteenth Century. Covering a range of Restoration and eighteenth-century genres, this course explores the dialogue of literary “instruction” and Enlightenment education theories. From the spiritual allegory and bildungsroman (novels of education) to the lyrical autobiography of a Romantic poet, each representative genre will offer insight into the way literature depicts and performs the education process. At the same time, each text will shed light on the strategies that authors used to “tutor” audiences in “correct” modes of reading during the rise of a mass literary culture. As we explore readings through the lens of eighteenth-century life, we will consider the relationship between practical concerns of educational systems and the notion of “Enlightenment” as an emergent intellectual value. Subtopics will include the role of tutors and governesses, surveillance in schools, and the division of education models according to sex and class. Framing questions will include: how do authors address cultural fears about the moral hazards of “low” reading materials? When is deception justified in education or in literature? How do female authors resist or corroborate with the formation of a gendered education ideology? What kind of adults do these educational and literary paradigms seek to produce and why? What do eighteenth-century preoccupations with maternal nursing, swaddled infants, and vulgar servants have to do with literary forms? Students will explore course topics by working collaboratively to create a series of interlinking wiki blogs during the first half of the semester. During the second half of the semester, students will produce a researched essay (about 15 pages) on a topic of their choice that relates eighteenth-century literature to a twenty-first century “education” issue (loosely defined) in cultural or literary contexts. In the final 5-6 weeks of the semester, class meetings will transition to one-on-one meetings with the instructor for advising and progress reports on the independent research projects.

Prerequisite: ENG 223 , ENG 224 , or ENG 273 .
Instructor: Mangano