Department of English

University of Toronto

4000 Series Course Descriptions

ENG4224HF
Early Nineteenth-Century Environmental Literature
A. Bewell

Course Description:
A course about the important role that environmental thought played in early nineteenth-century ideas about human well-being and the responsibilities that attend it. Our goal will be to explore how environmental thought emerges from being a largely moral and private concern to being a matter of primary "public interest" in aesthetics, literature, medicine, and politics during this period. Our focus will be on three key arenas of environmental debate: nature, the city, and the globe. Writers discussed will include Gilbert White, Thomas Malthus, Wordsworth, Coleridge, John Clare, Mary Shelley, P. B. Shelley, John Keats, Edwin Chadwick, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell. Topics will include Romantic ecopoetics, animal welfare, medical environmentalism, public health, consumerism, food, urbanism, factory legislation, sanitation, evolution, and migration.

Course Reading List:
Gilbert White, The Natural History of Selborne; Thomas Malthus, Essay on the Principle of Population; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Edwin Chadwick, Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain (sel.); Charles Darwin, Origin of Species (sel.); Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist; Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton; poetry by Wordsworth, Coleridge, P. B. Shelley, John Keats, and John Clare. Additional secondary literature.

Course Method of Evaluating and Requirements:
Research Essay: 40%
Book Review: 25%
Class Presentation: 20%
Participation: 10%
Blackboard Postings: 5%   

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2018)
Date/Time: Fridays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, 3 hours
Location: Room JHB 616 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG4501HF
Victorian Fiction and the Fragility of the Social
A. Jaffe

Course Description:
The social, Bruno Latour suggests, is always under construction: constantly needing to be built and rebuilt. While sociologists of all kinds might agree that no group can maintain its existence "without some keeping up," the difference between his brand of sociology and others lies in its emphasis on the makers: those who keep the social going--not so much the nature of the group, but the work required to maintain the sense that there is a group. We will follow Latour in investigating the way Victorian fiction foregrounds the labor of sociality--especially its tenuousness--and the social work it does itself, exploring at the same time some of the links between this literary labor and the emerging discipline-or work--of sociology.

Course Reading List:
Tentative: Brontë, Jane Eyre and Villette; Eliot, Silas Marner and The Lifted Veil; Hardy, The Return of the Native; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Critics and theorists include (also tentatively) Darwin, Scheler, Sianne Ngai, Christopher Lane, Suzanne Keene.

Course Method of Evaluating and Requirements:
Individual presentation, 25%; participation, 20%; proposal and final paper, 55%.

Term: F-Term (Fall or First Term: September - December 2018)
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 617 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG4662HS
Romantic Memory
K. Weisman

Course Description:
We are currently in the midst of a resurgence of memory studies, a field that crosses many disciplines and methodological approaches. Memory has always been one of the central motifs of Romanticism, and it has recently become a subject newly engaged by Romantic theorists. The historical and conceptual study of memory affords opportunity to interrogate the aesthetic, political, cultural, and sociological implications of Romantic discourse. We will examine poetry and prose that engage with questions of subjectivity and the self; the pathologies of nostalgia; nationalism and the past; and the tensions between history and memory. The perils of memory within all of these foci include sentimentalism, political xenophobia, and solipsism; its triumphs include cultural cohesion and self-identification. We will address Romantic memory in its full complexity.

Course Reading List:
Reading will include, but not be limited to, the following texts: John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature; William Wordsworth, The Prelude and Lyrical Ballads; Jane Austen, Mansfield Park; Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater and Suspiria de Profundis; Grace Aguilar, selected lyrics; Felicia Hemans, Records of Woman and other Poems.

Course Method of Evaluating and Requirements:
Assignments and Grading Scheme: class participation 10% book report 15% seminar and write-up 30% course paper 45%

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2019)
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 617 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG4770HS
Aesthetics and Ethics: the Late Victorians
H. Li

Course Description:
This is a critical survey course examining the late Victorians' intellectual efforts to move beyond mid-Victorian culture. In particular, we will focus on their conception of the relations between aesthetics and ethics, as a paradigm shift away from mid-Victorian ideas of ethics which were primarily rational and prescriptive. By analyzing experimental ideas of cognitive aesthetics in George Eliot, William Morris, Robert Browning, Thomas Hardy, Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde, we will reconstruct a contestatory conception of ethics in these writers that was ironic, sensual and counter-factual, a new "higher ethics" (Walter Pater). Issues to be discussed will include ethology of skepticism, dialectics of futuristic envisioning, utopian superscription, naturalistic affect, and sensuality of the intellect.

Course Reading List:
Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book (1868-9)
Walter Pater, The Renaissance (1873 and 1893)
George Eliot, Daniel Deronda (1876)
William Morris, News from Nowhere (1890)
Oscar Wilde, Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), De Profundis (1905)
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (1895)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Seminar presentation: 20%; essay proposal 15%; participation 20%; research paper 45%

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2019)
Date/Time: Fridays, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB TBA (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG4973HS
Marx and the American Renaissance
P. Downes

Course Description:
Marx analyzed a "state of society in which the process of production has the mastery over man." At about the same time, Emerson was lamenting that ''Things are in the saddle and ride mankind." In this course we will read works by major figures in the American renaissance (Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, Douglass, Poe and others) in conjunction with writings from roughly the same period by Karl Marx ("The German Ideology," Capital, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,'' Communist Manifesto). We may supplement this reading with excerpts from some recent examples of Marxist political philosophy (Jameson, Balibar, Derrida, Zizek, Spivak, for example). We will be considering, on a general level, the relationship between nineteenth-century American and Marxist critiques of capitalism, and we will be looking-- more locally-- for points of convergence in these writers' approaches to questions concerning commodification, the mass market, slavery, democracy, the charisma of political leaders and the mid-century revolutions in Europe.

Course Reading List (available from the Bob Miller Bookroom on Bloor Street):
McLellan, David. Karl Marx: Selected Writings. New York: Oxford UP, 2000. Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Essays and Poems. New York: Library of America, 1996. Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. New York: Penguin, 2003. Thoreau, Henry David. Walden, The Maine Woods, and Collected Essays and Poems. New York: Library of America, 2007. Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. New York: Penguin, 1986. Davis, Rebecca Harding. Life in the Iron Mills and Other Stories. New York: The Feminist Press at CUNY, 1985. Other readings will be available in a course Package (UTP) or online.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:
Essay: 60% Presentation: 30% Essay Outline: 10%

Term: S-Term (Spring or Second Term: January - April 2019)
Date/Time: Wednesdays, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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