Department of English

University of Toronto

3000 Series 2009-10

Graduate Courses - 2009 - 2010 Winter Session, 3000 Series

DRAMA FROM 1660 -1710

Critical reading of plays by Dryden, Shadwell, Otway, Lee, Etherege, Wycherley, Behn, Congreve, Vanbrugh, Cibber, Centlivre, Farquhar, Rowe and others in the context of theatre history, politics in the theatre, and critical controversies (old and new).

Seminar, with several brief papers (5-10 minutes), minimal lecturing, discussion.

The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, ed. Canfield (Broadview); supplementary texts.

Some familiarity with the history of the period is extremely helpful.

Monday 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Room 718, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street


Satire was a predominant mode in eighteenth-century British literature and the focus of a complex critical and ethical debate. This course reads a range of satiric texts, from the well-known verse of Swift and Pope to obscurer topical pamphlets and the graphic satires of Hogarth and Rowlandson. In Fielding, Smollett and Burney, we will study three novelists who extended the genre to narrative fiction. Alongside these primary texts, we will explore a wide range of theoretical and literary-historical contexts, including the value and limitations of generic categories; the history of eighteenth-century studies (especially the persistent use of “satire” as a label for recuperating long-scorned texts and justifying their status as “literature”); changing interpretations of the ancient satirists; early-modern debates over the nature and justifiability of laughter; and metaphorical and literal connections between satire, public punishment and the infliction of pain. Also important will be class perspectives; the representation of deformity and disability (and recent developments in “Disability Studies”); the apparent misogyny of many texts; and aesthetic conventions such as scatology and the grotesque.

Seminar presentation and related documents, including handouts and annotated bibliography or literature review (30%), final paper (50%), active and informed participation in discussion (20%).

Some familiarity with eighteenth-century literature and relevant critical issues is strongly recommended.

Friday 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Room 614, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street.


The course combines an overview of formal innovations and political implications in Restoration and eighteenth-century fiction, and of the relationship between these things, with detailed study of six major representative texts in the rise of the novel. Study of literature and politics in the period has traditionally focused on the more obvious engagements of poems on affairs of state, pre-Licensing Act drama, and Scriblerian and other modes of satire. But interest has been growing in the more than merely private or domestic scope of the emergent novel, and in the relevance of the genre to questions of political theory, succession crisis, colonial expansion, national identity, and eventually revolutionary upheaval. Renewed attention to form in recent criticism offers opportunities to consider the extent to which technical developments created new possibilities for political encoding, intervention, or debate in narrative fiction.

Seminar with oral presentations (20%) and informed participation in class discussion (20%); essay proposal with bibliography (10%); 20-page research paper (50%).
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (1688); Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719); Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740); Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (1749); Tobias Smollett, Humphry Clinker (1771); William Godwin, Caleb Williams (1794).

Tuesday – 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Room 621, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street

*NOTE: Room, Date and Time Changes

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