This course is designed both for specialists in eighteenth-century British literary culture and for grad students in other specializations who want to develop competence in the period. The course also offers an overview of the opportunities presented by the methods of Digital Humanities research. Our focus will be on how to use what you are learning in your future teaching.
Most class sessions will be spent examining primary texts and influential critical arguments. The central requirement will be an 8- or 9-page conference paper (preceded by a work-shopped abstract) to be presented orally and submitted, probably over the summer or the coming fall, in response to a professional conference’s call-for-papers. In addition, students will produce a small number of lecture/discussion outlines for presentation in class, and will work on two comparatively small projects with DH mentors from Van Pelt Library and the Early Novels Database project (END) to understand basic computational approaches that can help us to think about specific texts in relation to larger-scale corpora (i.e., Digital Humanities methods).
We’ll be reading in several genres, including works by Bunyan, Behn, Dryden, Pope, Defoe, Haywood, Richardson, and others.