|Appendix B: Sample Teaching
Jane Austen's Contemporaries Assignment
(due for recitation Friday, March 25th))
For this assignment (due March 25th in class to your section leader) you have a choice of which Austen novel you'd like to make your focus. The assignment will take you somewhere between five and eight hours to complete. Our aim is provide you with the opportunity of gauging the place of one of Austen's novels among its competition -- i.e., among those novels that were published in the same year -- and of understanding just what that competition was. We advise you to choose the Austen novel you'll be treating in your longer essay, rather than the one you adapted for your screenplay.
The novel changed a lot between 1811 and 1818, and different years saw different major works published. For example, the year 1814 saw the publication of Mansfield Park; but it also saw the publication of Walter Scott's groundbreaking novel Waverley, Mary Brunton's Discipline, Maria Edgeworth's Patronage, Sydney Owenson's O'Donnell, and Fanny Burney's The Wanderer. The years 1816 and 1818 were equally strange and important in the novels they saw published, from Scott's Antiquary (1816) and Tales o f My Landlord (1816) to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818).
For this assignment, then, we would like you to do the following: