Fall 2015

Making Literary Histories II

Listed in: English, as ENGL-218


Amelia Worsley (Section 01)


[before 1800]  What is “English Literature,” and how does one construct its history?  How do we decide what counts as “English,” and what counts as “literature”?  What is the relationship between histories of literature and political, social, religious, and intellectual histories?  What is the role of gender, race and class in the making of literature, and the making of its histories?

These are some of the questions we will ask as we read masterpieces of English literature from the mid-seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth century, alongside works that have not always been thought of as part of the canon, by women, slaves, exiles, political radicals, anonymous, and unpublished writers. Writers we will study include (but are not limited to) John Milton, Aphra Behn, John Dryden, Anne Finch, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Olaudah Equiano, Samuel Johnson, Phillis Wheatley, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley.

This course is the chronological sequel to “Making Literary Histories I,” though it is not necessary (or even necessarily desirable) to take the classes in chronological order.

Limited to 25 students.  Fall semester.  Professor Worsley.

If Overenrolled: If overenrolled, students will submit statements of interest and will be required to come to first three classes.


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015