Land, Labour, and Literature in the Long Eighteenth Century
In the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, literary writing engaged strenuously with shifts and innovations in forms of landownership and labor, both within England and then across the lands that came under British control. Many writers were greatly anxious about—even when they celebrated—social changes attendant upon the capitalization of land and labor at home and in plantation society. We will read in a variety of literary genres, but also key texts in world systems theory and social and labor history, as well as relevant literary criticism. We will begin with Aphra Behn (Oroonoko, The Widdow Ranter) and end with Maria Edgeworth (Castle Rackrent).