LIT 231: English Literature II

Spring 1999
TTh 2:00-3:30
Main 212
Dr. Robert Fletcher (Homepage--for office hours, etc.)
WWW Links

Course Description

 This course introduces you to British literature from around 1800 to the present.  While we will focus our attention on significant examples of the literature of this period and will consider the structural and stylistic devices of each text, we will do so in the larger context of a discussion of the thematic concerns of the writers and their relevance to us today, as well as the specific historical events and cultural influences to which these writers responded.

Course Objectives

1.  To help students develop the critical reading skills necessary to understand complex texts generated in a culture not their own.

2.  To model for students the many ways that scholars talk about literature, and to encourage students to use these tools of literary analysis.

3.   To give students practice in creating oral and written discourse about literature.

4.  To help students appreciate literature as aesthetic object, rhetorical performance, and cultural artifact.

5.  To inspire students with a love of learning.

Required Texts

 The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2, 6th edition
 Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre (Norton; packaged with the anthology)
 Thomas, D. M., The White Hotel (HBJ)

Course Requirements

 1.  Midterm examination (25%)
 2.  Final examination (30%)
 3.  Paper (5-8 pages; 30%)
 4.  Participation (includes attendance and contributions to class discussion; 15%).  You may miss three classes without affecting your participation grade; each class missed thereafter will drop your participation grade by 1/3 grade.  For example, if you miss four classes and have earned a "B" in participation, you will receive a "B-."

I'll give you more details about examinations and the paper as we go along.

Course Schedule

All of the readings are in the Norton Anthology, with the exception of Jane Eyre, The White Hotel, and a few noncanonical texts and secondary materials available in electronic form on the WWW, such as The History of Mary Prince.  You should have read and be prepared to discuss all reading selections by the date for which they're assigned.  Please bring your text along to class with you--I will frequently allude to works not assigned and it will help you immensely to be able to follow along.  In addition to the works listed and any headnotes prefacing them, read the Norton introduction for each writer assigned.  Due to time constraints, we will naturally not be able to discuss all of the works assigned in equal depth; examinations will, however, cover all of the works listed for individual authors.


February March April  FINAL EXAMINATION time to be announced