Department of English

University of Toronto

4000 Series Graduate Course Descriptions

ENG4170HF
Extravagant Styles: Romanticism, Orientalism, and the Gothic
D. White

Course Description
Romantic-era readers could not get enough of two extravagant styles: the Gothic and Orientalism, both of which roamed well beyond the borders of propriety. The Gothic, as the frame narrative of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) suggests, was associated with the North and the South – Walpole pretended that his novel was a translation of a sixteenth-century Italian tale discovered in “the library of an ancient catholic family in the north of England.” But our reading list shows that the Gothic could not do without the East, just as Orientalism could not do without the Gothic. This course will study these two inextricable styles together in order to investigate Romantic extravagance. Impelled by the relationship between excessiveness, the word’s primary meaning, and wandering (vagari), its root, we will focus on the following subjects: temporal and geographical displacement in a period of imperial expansion and mobility; Catholicism, Islam, and Hinduism in the Romantic imaginary; generic relationships among “romance,” the “novel,” and the “tale”; race, violence, and sexual deviance; power and politics in the revolutionary age; and the sublime. Our primary sources will be supplemented by seminal (Said, Sedgwick) and recent works of criticism and theory on Orientalism and the Gothic.

Course Reading List
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, a Gothic Story (1764); William Beckford, Vathek (1786); C. F. Volney, selections from Travels through Syria and Egypt (1787) and The Ruins (1791); Matthew Lewis, The Monk. A Romance (1796); Robert Southey, Thalaba the Destroyer, a Metrical Romance (1801); Charlotte Dacre, Zofloya; or, The Moor: a Romance of the Fifteenth Century (1806); Sydney Owenson, The Missionary: an Indian Tale (1811); Lord Byron, The Giaour, a Fragmant of a Turkish Tale (1813), The Corsair, a Tale (1814); P.B. Shelley, Alastor; or, The Spirit of Solitude (1816), The Revolt of Islam; a Poem (1818); Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1818); Charles Maturin, Melmoth the Wanderer: a Tale (1820); Mary Shelley, The Last Man (1826)

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Research paper (50%, 20 pp.), abstract and bibliography (10%), mini-conference presentation (20%, 15 minutes followed by q & a), class participation (20%).

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December, 2016) 
Date/Time: Tuesday, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG4212HS
Romanticism and Catastrophe 
K. Weisman   

Course Description
The Romantic period witnessed many remarkable challenges to received ideas about the aesthetic, and about the function and meaning of literature. Situated within the cauldron of rapid change in industry, science, economics, transportation and social structure, and further defined by the challenges of urbanization, ecological disaster, revolutionary activity, and war, the early nineteenth century presents a unique opportunity to study the representation of catastrophe in poetry and fiction. Catastrophe may be defined not only politically, but also socially, aesthetically and existentially, with each category often exerting pressure on the others, indeed often inextricably linked. What are the mechanisms of, and challenges to, the representation of such experience in the Romantic period?

In this course we will study poetry and prose that represents catastrophe or responds to catastrophe, with “catastrophe” defined broadly. We will read such texts as P.B. Shelley, Prometheus Unbound and “The Triumph of Life” and other lyrics; S.T. Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and other lyrics; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein and The Last Man; Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and other poems; Anna Barbauld, “Eighteen Hundred and Eleven” and other lyrics; Grace Aguilar, selected poems; Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater.

Course Reading List
Texts will include (but will not be limited to) P.B. Shelley, Prometheus Unbound and “The Triumph of Life” and other lyrics; S.T. Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and other lyrics; Mary Shelley, The Last Man; Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and other poems; Anna Barbauld, “Eighteen Hundred and Eleven” and other lyrics; Grace Aguilar, selected poems; Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater and The English Mail Coach.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Seminar and seminar write-up 30% ; Orally delivered book report 10%; Participation 10%; Final term paper 50%.

Term:  S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017) 
Date/Time: Wednesday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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ENG4504HF
Darwin and Literature
C. Schmitt 

Course Description
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species revolutionized biology. Surprisingly, it also transformed literary production. We will read works by Darwin together with nineteenth- and early twentieth-century novels influenced by him. The ubiquity of evolutionary content will be clear, and we’ll seek ways of conceptualizing its significance for the history of the novel. More crucially, we’ll think through Darwinism’s relation to form. Gillian Beer has noted that George Eliot’s engagement with evolutionary theory is “expressed not only at the level of theme, character, and opinion, but in the structural order.” We’ll pursue this claim by making precise the entailments for the novel of Darwinian revisions to extant models of the human, of temporality, of sexuality, of aesthetics—of almost everything.

Course Reading List
Victorian-era scientific texts by Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and T. H. Huxley; novels by George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, Edward Bulwer Lytton, and others. Critical and theoretical work by Gillian Beer, George Levine, John Durant, Caroline Sumpter, Angelique Richardson, and others.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements
Informed participation (10%), presentation (10%), short close reading (15%), final paper proposal (15%), seminar paper (50%)

Term: F-Term (Fall Term:  September - December 2016)
Date/Time: Wednesday, 1:00pm- 3:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (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)
There will also be a list of secondary critical works on the late Victorians and theoretical works on the relations between aesthetics and ethics. 

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

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017)
Date/Time: Friday, 11:00am - 1:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room UC 63 (University College, 15 King's College Circle)

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ENG4856HS
Character in 19th-Century Fiction
A. Jaffe  

Course Description
The nineteenth-century novel both formulated and synthesized some of the key ways in which the idea of character was understood during the period, and in many ways continues to be today.  We will explore why and how this idea became so powerful and some of the crucial issues that arise around it in both Victorian and contemporary theories of the self and its representations, including the relation between character and genre; notions of literary identification and affect; the idea of development; interiority and the psychological; the major and the minor; the individual vs. the type.

Course Reading List
(Subject to change): Austen, Emma; Bronte, Jane Eyre; Dickens, Oliver Twist; Smiles, Self-Help; Collins, The Moonstone; Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles.  Secondary readings by John Frow, Catherine Gallagher, Deidre Lynch, Alex Woloch, Judith Butler, and others.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course
Participation, 20%; presentation, 25%; paper, 55%.

Term: S-Term (Spring Term:  January - April 2017)
Date/Time: Monday, 6:00pm- 8:00pm, 2 hours
Location: Room JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)

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