Brief Description of Course: The later Victorian age was characterized by, among other things, a reaction against the aesthetic, religious, and sexual mores of the preceding “high” Victorian age. In this seminar, we shall focus on aspects of this development through a study of the works of writers associated with the Aesthetic and Decadent Movements. We shall discuss issues such as the New Hedonism, Anarchism, gender crisis, relations to the Pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolist Movement and early Modernism. But our main emphasis will be on the formal sensibilities of these writers.
Required Reading: Pater, Walter. Studies in the History of the Renaissance. Ed. Matthew Beaumont. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010; Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ed. Joseph Bristow. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006; All other readings are included in a course pack.
First Three Authors/Texts: Dante Gabriel Rossetti; William Morris; Walter Pater.
Method of Evaluation: Essay, presentation, participation.