Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG486H1F  L0101  W2-4
Aesthetic and Decadent Movements
Professor Hao Li

Brief Description of Course: The late Victorian period was characterized by, among other changes, a reaction against the aesthetic, religious, and sexual mores of the mid-Victorian period. In this seminar, we shall focus on aspects of this development through a study of writers associated with the Aesthetic and Decadent Movements. Our main emphasis is on their formal sensibilities. Issues to be explored include the New Hedonism; Anarchism; gender crisis; relations to the Pre-Raphaelites, the Symbolist Movement and early Modernism, etc.

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 Instruction: Seminar.

Method of Evaluation: Essay, presentation, participation..

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