University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

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English 38-364/564:

The 19th-Century British Novel

Spring 1998
Tues & Thurs, 1:20-2:50
Clow 129

Prof. Julie Shaffer

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From here ..... Here

Office: Radford 208
Phone: 424-7288

Office Hours: T, Th: 11:15-11:50
Mon 2-4

Course Description, Texts, Course Requirements, Attendance and Late Paper Policy,
Recommended Journals, Reserve Materials, Schedule

Visit the my home page and the English Department home page for useful information and links

This course will focus on the nineteenth-century British novel, briefly touching on the novel of the Regency period and then moving to the Victorian novel. We will read and discuss works by canonical and sub-canonical authors and through so doing, become familiar not only with important 19th-century novelists but also with the century's preoccupations and means of dealing with them through strategies the genre makes possible. We will place the nineteenth century British novel in the context of the period and its interests, examining ways the novels on our syllabus address issues important to the British in the era. We will also examine theories of how novels work and how readers make meaning of them. Through reading, discussion, and research, we will get a solid grounding in the interests of the nineteenth century and its novels.

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Required Texts:

Abrams, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms, 6th ed.
Austen, Jane. Persuasion (1818) - note: you must buy the Norton edition!
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights (1847)
Gaskell, Elizabeth. North and South (1855)
Haggard, H. Rider. She (1886-87)
Stoker, Bram. Dracula (1897)
Various articles on reserve, to be assigned as needed.

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Course Requirements: Attendance and active participation are vital to making this course work for you and your classmates. Participation will comprise a large enough part of your grade to raise or lower your grade earned from other requirements of this class.

Other oral requirements: Each of you will make informal presentations to the class based on outside reading about the works and theories we will be covering. We cannot each do outside research on each of the primary texts we're reading for class, so this is a way to join efforts and learn more than each of us could on our own. Your presentations will also help guide discussion on each of the texts we read. You may speak to me beforehand about what you plan to do; I can provide suggestions on what you might want to read and summarize for your classmates on each of the authors and topics ahead of us.

Written work: 3 papers; summaries of articles; an annotated bibliograpy; position papers to be brought to class and/or posted to an e-mail list by the first day we discuss a text.

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Attendance and Late Paper Policy: If you miss more than two weeks' classes, your grade may drop; after three weeks' absence, your grade may drop to fail. I do not differentiate between excused and inexcused absences. In the case of dire illness, you may be granted a late drop. I'd rather have you stay home if you're sick, especially if you're contagious, so save absences for when you really need them. Very late arrivals or very early departures will count as absences, as will your coming to class unable to add to discussion from utter unpreparedness - from not having read the text or written work leading into discussion, for instance. If you are absent on days on which we do group work or in class writing, in addition to being marked absent, you will also receive a fail on that work. Absences may be offset by active oral class participation, with my approval. In-class writing and discussion cannot be made up except in unusual circumstances. If you are absent, find out what you missed and what assignments were given not by contacting me but by calling classmates, whose phone numbers you will get during the first week of the semester. Papers handed in late will adversely affect your grade, unless you have discussed your need to hand a paper in late beforehand with me. Generally, papers handed in late will drop one half letter grade for each day they're late, and after one week, they will not be accepted. Plagiarism, which I invariably catch, will result in a fail on the paper, a fail in the course, and action taken against you through the appropriate university channels. Newspaper reading, sleeping, private conversation in class, along with any other rudenesses, will not be tolerated.

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Recommended journals:

ELH; Ninetheenth-Century Studies; Nineteenth Century Fiction; Novel; Victorian Studies;
Criticism; Studies in English Literature; PMLA

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Hypothetical Class Schedule
subject to radical revision, as need arises

Week 1: Feb 3 & 5
Introduction to historical and narratological study
Abrams reading:

Novel (131-135)
Narrative and Narratology (123)
Periods (148 & bottom 151-154)
Russian Formalism (273-75)
Structuralist Criticism (280-284)

Week 2: Feb 10 & 12
Narratology and first 14 chapters of Persuasion (through p90)
Abrams Reading:

Affective Fallacy: 4; Plot: 159-163
Character and characterization: 23-25;
Local color: 107;
Point of View: 165-169;
Realism: 174-top 175

Week 3: Feb 17 & 19
Persuasion , through end (168) and Appendix 1, the original conclusion (168-277)
Abrams reading:

Introduction to historicism (248-255)
Feminism (233-239)

Very short paper on element of narrative in Persuasion due.

Week 4: Feb 24 & 26
Presentation of articles on Persuasion
Wuthering Heights

Week 5: March 3 & 5
Written summaries of articles on Persuasion due
Wuthering Heights
Abrams reading

Psych. criticism (263-268)

Week 6: March 10 & 12
Wuthering Heights
oral presentation of articles on Wuthering Heights
(written version, with response that goes into the article topic in your own way, due after Spring break)

Spring break!

Week 7: March 24 & 26
North and South
written summaries of and responses to/elaborations of articles on Wuthering Heights due

Week 8: March 31 & April 2
North and South

Week 9: April 7 & 9
North and South
Abrams reading

Marxist criticism (241-246)

Presentation of article summaries
Paper on Wuthering Heights and/or North and South formulated; available on my door Fri April 10 at noon.

Week 10: April 14 & 16
Introduction on imperialism

Week 11: April 21 & 23
Papers on Wuthering Heights and/or North and South due. Focus: marxist/gender: history, class, women/men
Dracula: discussion of travel and gothic genres.

Week 12: April 28 & 30

Week 13: May 5 & 7

Week 14: May 12 & 14
Wrap up. Annotated bibliographies due
Paper on race and/or gender in She and/or Dracula due.

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last updated 10 December 1998
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