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Victorian Faiths, Victorian Fantasies

ENGL 556.301
instructor(s):

The seminar will not attempt anything so ambitious as to disentangle faith from fantasy; instead, we will examine a series of inspirational Victorian texts along with some of their fantastic counterparts, searching for convergences and divergences in relation to gender, genre, and ideology. Throughout the seminar, we will try to locate the imperceptible line between faith and fantasy.

Among the authors we will study are Lewis Carroll (the Alice books), Tennyson (In Memoriam and Idylls of the King), Christina Rossetti, Charlotte BrontÎ, Dickens (Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol), and various uncanonical purveyors of reverence -- or escapism.

Each student will present at least one oral report and will write an extended (20-odd page) account of material beyond the boundaries of our syllabus.