Major II: B-Literature 1500-1789
Literature, 1500-1789 courses focus on writings during the period of European exploration and colonization -- from the early English Renaissance to the late eighteenth-century -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history. Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them. The study of early periods in particular sensitizes readers to historical transformations of the language itself.
This course traces ethnicity, cultural interaction, and forms of folkloristic expression in the British Isles and Ireland. Britain and Ireland possess a... (read more)
Students in this course will closely read Shakespeare’s plays and poems, attending to Shakespeare’s rich language, nuanced characters, and persistent... (read more)
This course circulates through the world of the novel by taking a slightly unusual perspective: that of subjects and objects. When the novel emerged in eighteenth-century England, “novels increased more than tea,” as Franco Moretti explains. Novels were the product of a commercial and leisured... (read more)
The novel as we know it today did not exist until the early nineteenth century, the end point of this course. Before then, fictional prose narratives circulated in Britain under various labels, including “romance,” “history,” “true history” or “secret history,” as well as “novel.” Moreover, the... (read more)
The English Novel: Subject, Object and Abject
This course circulates through the world of the novel by taking a slightly unusual perspective: that of subjects and objects. The rise of the novel goes hand-in-hand with a focus on objects and commodities that help construct the subject as a... (read more)
Participating in the political revolution, religious ferment, and literary experimentation of his time, the poetry and prose of John Milton offer us fascinating and beautiful examples of the engagement of literature with real-world political and ethical crises. This work may resonate with... (read more)
The complex cultural history of Great Britain and Ireland is the focus of this course. We study folk and popular traditions that are current or have been collected in this region, particularly noting how these influence art, literature, history, and socio-political institutions as well as... (read more)
Examines the work of Edmund Spenser.
Prereq: Junior standing.(read more)
In 1797 the London Critical Review proclaimed, “This may be called the age of peregrination; for we have reason to believe, that the desire of seeing foreign countries never before so diffusively operated.” British travelers circled the globe, pursuing exploration, trade, diplomacy,... (read more)
Slavery shaped the ecology, economy, and culture of the Atlantic Rim, including parts of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the long eighteenth century (1660-1838), British slavery on the Caribbean sugar islands reached its peak, was fought by the abolitionist movement and ended by Parliament... (read more)
English 461 is an introduction to the literature of colonial America and the Early Republic. It satisfies the 1500-1789 area requirement for the English major. The course does not emphasize familiar genres of novel, poetry, or short story. Instead, we will be reading missionary relations,... (read more)