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The Honors Program

ENGL 310.301
TR 1:30-3

This course provides an introduction to Victorian studies. We will focus our attention on some of the major fiction of the Victorian period, attending to issues of style and form as well as analyzing how the novel participates in Victorian debates about poverty, sexuality and imperialism. Tracking recurrent literary obsessions with questions of nervousness, contagion, consumption, and desire, we will study how the Victorian novel helped an emergent industrial society imagine itself into being. Novels will most likely include Charles Dickens, _Our Mutual Friend_; George Eliot, _Middlemarch_; Lewis Carroll, _AliceÕs Adventures in Wonderland_; Bram Stoker, _Dracula_; Walter, _My Secret Life_; Wilkie Collins, _The Woman in White; and Charlotte Bronte, _Jane Eyre_. In order to situate these works in their social, political and aesthetic contexts, we will supplement our literary readings with a variety of non-fictional writings from the Victorian period, ranging from public health reports to medical case studies to aesthetic theory. In addition, this course is designed to introduce students to some of the methods and problems of literary and cultural criticism, and as such it will also have a strong theoretical component. As we study Victorian texts, we will also survey major recent work on Victorian writing by such critics as Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, Mary Poovey, Nancy Armstrong, Nina Auerbach, D.A. Miller, Elaine Scarry, and Thomas Richards. Requirements will include regular attendance, lively participation, an oral presentation, a short paper (10 pp), and a longer final paper (15-20 pp).