I. The Study of English
The introductory session opens with an overview of the module: setting out the central concept and methods of assessment. Students learn about the origin of the study of English and are introduced to the three key practices underpinning this module – periodisation, canon-formation and practical criticism.
In the second half these practices are seen to have been problematised by the theorists studied in the companion module to R2W. The necessity for contextual reading, for canon-reformation and for recognising the problems inherent to any historical label are explained in order to ensure that students can avoid the usual pitfalls associated with the three procedures that remain fundamental to the study of English at university-level.
Set Text: Extracts from criticism by F.R. Leavis, I.A. Richards, R. Barthes and Michel Foucault will be provided in class.
Production over the two semesters of a two-page essay every fortnight, due in before the seminar, of the text to be studied that week. Feedback shall be provided at the start of each class. These essays build up over the course of the year into a reading journal of the books studied, enabling students to monitor their own progress. If students choose to build on advice and criticism offered one of the outcomes of this module should be a marked improvement in writing-style and critical skill.
Due: Throughout module
Seminar: The Study of English
The Book of Margery Kempe (c.1438)
[pp.366-379 in The Norton Anthology, Seventh Ed. Vol.1.]
Margery Kempe and Traditional Biographical Criticism.
Lynn Staley, Margery Kempe’s Dissenting Fictions (1994),
Diane Watt, Secretaries of God (1997),
Tess Cosslett, Celia Lury, Penny Summerfield, eds. Feminism and autobiography: texts, theories, methods (2000).
Also, see the following website: www.luminarium.org/medlit/margery.htm
Poems by Sir Walter Raleigh
[pp.878-888 in The Norton Anthology, Seventh Ed. Vol.1.]
The Self-fashioning of Sir Walter Raleigh: a case-study of the New Historicist criticism
John Brannigan, New Historicism and Cultural materialism (1998),
Greenblatt, Stephen J., Renaissance self-fashioning : from More to Shakespeare,
Waller, Gary F., English poetry of the sixteenth century (1993).
Aphra Behn’s The Rover (1677-1681),
AVAILABLE ONLINE: Chadwyck-Healey,
Aphra Behn: the first professional female playwright and Reformation of the “Canon”
Wiseman, Susan. Aphra Behn (2007).
Hughes, Derek and Todd, Janet, The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn (2004)
Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock (1712)
[pp.2505-2577 in The Norton Anthology, Seventh Ed., Vol. 1.]
How to Read the Gender Politics of Alexander Pope’s Poetry
Fergusson, Rebecca. "'Quick as Her Eyes, and as Unfix'd as Those': Objectification and Seeing in Pope's Rape of the Lock." Critical Survey 4.2 (1992) 140-6.
Gurr, Elizabeth: Alexander Pope: The Rape of the Lock,
Assessment and Revision
Over the Christmas break and the final four weeks of Semester 1, students produce a 1500-word essay in which they must perform a close-reading of one of four texts related to material examined in class over the previous fifteen weeks.
Due: 12pm Wednesday 12th January 2011
Exams / Assessment
Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771)
[Ed. Jeremy Lewis, Penguin 2008]
The Formulation of a Genre: Tobias Smollett’s Epistolary Novel
Altman, Janet Gurkin: Epistolarity: Approaches to a Form (1982).
Kauffman, Linda S: Discourses of Desire (1986) and Special Delivery (1992).
Favret, Mary: Romantic Correspondence (1993)
, Amanda & Verhoeven, W. M., Epistolary Histories: Letters, Fiction, Culture, 2001.
S.T. Coleridge, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, ‘Kubla Khan’ and ‘Christabel’ (1797-1800)
[Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Selected Poetry, ed. H.J. Jackson: OUP 1999]
A reading of Romantic Ruins focussing on the role played by Plagiarism and Paratext
McFarland, Thomas, Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Modalities of Fragmentation (1981).
Genette, Gérard: Paratexts. Thresholds of interpretation (1997).
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman (1891)
[Eds. Penny Boumelha, Simon Gatrell, Juliet Grindle: OUP 2008]
A Cultural Materialist reading of the classic Nineteenth-century Novel
Raymond Williams, The English Novel from Dickens to
Seminar : Victorian
T.S. Eliot, Sweeney Agonistes: An Aristophanic Melodrama (1922-1932)
[Photocopies to be provided.]
Performance Criticism: an interpretation of the Modernist project in poetry
Eliot, T.S., The Sacred Wood, 1920.
Eliot, T.S., On Poetry and Poets, 1957.
Aston, E. and G. Savona, Theatre as Sign-System: A Semiotics of Text & Performance, (1991).
John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969)
Postmodernist Critiques of Historiographical Metafiction.
Linda Hutcheon, 'Freedom through Artifice: The French Lieutenant's Woman' in Narcissistic Narrative: the metafictional paradox (1980)
Linda Hutcheon, 'Historiographic Metafiction' in Mark Currie (ed.) Metafiction (1995)
Linda Hutcheon, A Poetics of Postmodernism (1989);
Patricia Waugh, Metafiction (1984)
Lecture- Review (DA)
XI. The End
Final lecture summing up everything covered by the module; providing feedback, and preparing students for the final enquiry-based project.
Over Easter and the next six weeks – the Assessment Period – of Semester 2, students produce a 2500-word enquiry-based project, a critical introduction to any of the texts featured on the paper, modelled on the critical introductions to be found in Penguin Classics or Oxford World Classics.
Due: 12pm Wednesday 18th May 2011