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Spring 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3807  Victorian Literature

Section 001       CRN 31630
Bredesen
Victorian Literature    1500-1615 MW

If you have thought of Victorian values and, by extension, Victorian literature as prudish and staid, think again. The nineteenth-century saw the rise of great realist novels and also the birth of the detective story. The same age that produced social problem novels also brought into vogue sensation fiction, colonial adventure tales, and horror classics. This course includes racy and less canonical genres and reads them comparatively alongside masterworks. In both we can see major issues of the day reflected and refracted in fascinating ways. The objectives of this course include gaining a strong sense of the formal features and aesthetic affects that characterize Victorian literature, as well as the social and political concerns with which literature of that time creatively engages. Thus, in class discussion and written work you will use period literature to understand the times and the times to understand the literature.

Assignments will include two short essays, a mid-term, a final exam and a research paper. (Group 3B)