3000 Series Course Descriptions (Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature)

ENG3045HF L0101

The Comic Novel from Fielding to Austen

Dickie, S.

Course Description:             

Our aim in this course is to trace the development of comic fiction from Henry Fielding to Jane Austen (with perhaps a glance ahead to Dickens). Discussions will focus on form and genre; print culture and the demands of the market; gender, sexuality, and the courtship plot; the unfamiliar world of eighteenth-century humour; social hierarchies and class relations, and many other topics. Students will have ample opportunity to pursue individual research interests. Secondary readings will take in the complex recent scholarship on the rise of the novel, reception history, and the history of reading. We will pay special attention to the increasing influence of women writers (notably Burney and Austen) and will persistently question the long neglect of comic fiction and entertainment in the overall rise of the genre. These topics are now supported by statistical analysis and large-scale cumulative scholarship in April London’s forthcoming Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel (2023-24).

Course Reading List:   

  • Fielding, Tom Jones; Smollett, Humphry Clinker; Burney, Evelina; Austen, Juvenilia, Persuasion
  • Online course reader of secondary reading, theory, and non-canonical materials

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:  

  • Five short discussion-starters (300-400 words each) posted on Quercus’ discussion page  -- 20%
  • Essay Proposal and Annotated Bibliography (2-3 pages)  -- 20%
  • Final Paper (4000 words)  -- 45%
  • Active and informed participation, including follow-on discussion of seminar starters  -- 15%

Term: F-TERM (September 2023 to December 2023)
Date/Time: Tuesday / 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (2 hours)
Delivery: In-Person  

ENG3707HS    L0101    

Literature and Censorship, 1640-1860    

Keymer, T.    

Course Description

Censorship is not only an instrument of control or suppression but also, Annabel Patterson has argued, a discipline to which we partly owe our concept of literature as a discourse with characteristics of its own. While supervising what could be said, and how, censorship could also stimulate ingenious strategies of circumvention, from clandestine presses and decoy imprints to elaborate literary techniques of irony and ellipsis. In important ways, the changing institutions and mechanisms of press regulation in Britain, from pre-publication licensing to libel prosecution and the spectacle of the pillory, may have energized literary production as much as they also constrained it. This is a familiar proposition for Renaissance England (also, in Robert Darnton’s work, for Enlightenment France), and we begin with key episodes and texts from the press licensing era, which ended in 1695. At the heart of the course is the eighteenth-century and Romantic-era use of seditious libel prosecution to perform the work of censorship by alternative means, and we examine the implications for poetry, drama, satire, and the novel across the extended period. The course ends with the persistence of blasphemy and obscenity as (in Joss Marsh’s term) “word crimes” in the early Victorian period.

Course Reading list:

  • John Milton, Areopagitica
  • Poems about Cromwell by Andrew Marvell, John Dryden, Edmund Waller, Thomas Sprat
  • Translations/imitations of Juvenal’s Third Satire by John Dryden, John Oldham, Samuel Johnson
  • Daniel Defoe, Shortest Way with the Dissenters; Essay on the Regulation of the Press
  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
  • Voltaire, Letters Concerning the English Nation
  • Henry Fielding, The Historical Register; Samuel Johnson, Compleat Vindication of the Licensers of the Stage
  • John Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
  • William Godwin, Caleb Williams; Cursory Strictures
  • Daniel Isaac Eaton, Politics for the People; Pernicious Effects of Printing
  • Robert Southey, Wat Tyler
  • John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
  • Criticism/history/theory by John Barrell, Pierre Bourdieu, Andrew Bricker, John Bugg, Cyndia Susan Clegg, Brian Cummings, Robert Darnton, Michel Foucault, Joss Marsh, Richard Ovenden, Annabel Patterson, Trevor Ross, and others.

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:

  • Seminar with oral presentations (20%) and informed participation (20%);
  • essay proposal with bibliography (10%);
  • 20-page research paper (50%).

Term: S-TERM (January 2024 to April 2024)
Date/Time: Monday / 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (2 hours)
Delivery: In-Person