Department of English

University of Toronto


English Comedy, 1660-1737
B. Corman

A study of stage comedy from the Restoration to the Licensing Act, with attention to theories of comedy in the period, performance practice, and reception. The principal playwrights will be: Dryden, Etherege, Wycherley, Shadwell, Behn, Vanbrugh, Cibber, Farquhar, Centlivre, Steele, Gay, and Fielding.

Course Requirements
Seminar, with several short presentations and a course paper.

The majority of texts are in the Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama. Others are readily available in libraries and online. Reserve copies will be provided.

Wednesday 9 – 11 am 
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 718
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

Henry Fielding
S. Dickie

A concentrated study of the astonishingly varied writings of Henry Fielding. Fielding’s career is characterised by certain striking contradictions: a madcap comic dramatist in the 1730s, by the early 1750s he was presenting himself as a grave and orthodox moralist; after reacting so violently to Richardsonian sentimentality in Shamela, he himself created a sentimental heroine in his last novel. We will explore the entire range of Fielding’s work, from his lewd and almost imbecilic farces to his later journalism and moral writings. In Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones, we will read two of the eighteenth century’s most popular comic novels. We will read his sophisticated essays on the nature and purpose of fiction, but also his translation of Ovid’s Ars Amatoria and “The Female Husband,” a prurient account of one Mary Hamilton, who married another woman and passed as her husband for many months. Fielding, we will find, was a far more morally ambiguous author than we have often recognized. He was fascinated with criminality, low life, and moral and sexual transgression--and these fascinations continued to mark the “moral” writings of his later years.

Reading List
Joseph Andrews with Shamela and Related Writings, ed. Goldberg (Norton)
Tom Jones, ed. Keymer and Wakely (Penguin)
Amelia, ed. Bree (Broadview)
The Cambridge Companion to Henry Fielding, ed. Rawson (Cambridge) 
Books are available at the Bob Miller Bookroom, 180 Bloor St. West. Further readings and criticism compiled as a course reader.

Friday 12 – 3 pm
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 614
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

A History of Violence: Eighteenth-Century Literature and the Politics of Pain
D. Taylor 

Course Description
The eighteenth-century is still often thought of as a period of “politeness” – but much of its literature offers elaborate and often sustained depictions of violence and brutality. In this course we will consider the variety of techniques and attitudes harnessed by writers to represent cruelty and pain. Focusing especially on the acts of social and sexual violence (rape, murder, execution, incarceration) that punctuate some of the period’s most popular novels and dramas, we will look particularly at how these scenes function to map and/or disrupt the prevailing politics of class and gender and also consider the ways in which these works were vicariously experienced and consumed by their public. We will read texts alongside excerpts from contemporaneous philosophical efforts to confront the aesthetics of pain – such as those of Burke, Smith, Hume – and also recent theories of the nature and representation of violence.

Reading List (provisional)
Novels: Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740); John Cleland, Fanny Hill (1748); Mary Wollstonecraft, The Wrongs of Woman (1798); William Earle, Obi, or Three Fingered Jack (1800).
Plays: Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent (1703); George Lillo, The London Merchant (1731); Arthur Murphy, The Grecian Daughter (1772); Joanna Baillie, De Monfort (1798).
The plays, along with excerpts from philosophical texts such as Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry (1757), David Hume essay ‘Of Tragedy’ (1757), and Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), will be provided in a course reader.

Informed participation (20%); seminar presentation (30%); research paper of 3,500-4,000 words (50%).

Tuesday 6 – 8 pm 
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 718
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

Seeing Things in the Enlightment: fiction, philosophy, phantasmagoria
D. Lynch

"I admit nothing but on the faith of the eyes."--Francis Bacon

This course on eighteenth-century novels and their philosophical surrounds situates itself at a crossroads where the histories of epistemology, of the senses, and of belief (both in God and in fictions) intersect. The Enlightenment conceived of itself, as we know, as the moment when an educated populace, weaned from superstition, schooled in the empiricist protocols of the Scientific Revolution, would at last be ready and able to see the world in its true colours: knowledge was to replace credulity. Our task in the seminar will be to investigate eighteenth-century Anglo-American writers' investment in replaying the benighted, "Gothic" delusions that, as inhabitants of this brave new world of epistemological certainty, they ought to have put firmly behind them. As we'll find, for many eighteenth-century novelists, exploring zealots' relationship to their religious creed or superstitious peasants' relationship to ghost belief can also be ways to explore enlightened readers' complicated relationship to the illusions of fiction itself.

Our reading list is likely to encompass eighteenth-century novels by Daniel Defoe, Charlotte Lennox, Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis, and Charles Brockden Brown, books that we'll read alongside snippets of the eighteenth-century contributions to the philosophy of mind and the emotions by John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Edmund Burke. We will also be consulting twenty-first-century discussions of textuality and "hauntology," of the sociology of religion, magic, and secularism (e.g. Leigh Eric Schmidt, Simon During) and of the history of epistemology (e.g. Lorraine Daston). We'll close by sampling the eighteenth-century prehistory of modern visual technologies and trying to discern the shadowy outlines of the ghosts dwelling within those machines.

Components: "seminar starters" posted to Blackboard (20%); short paper based on archival research (20 %); seminar paper of 20 pages (40 %); participation (20 %).

Thursday 3 – 6 pm
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 718
Return to 2012-2013 Graduate Course Timetable.

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