Home > Courses I Teach > Syllabus for English 362: English Literature from the Restoration to the Twentieth Century

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Instructor: Dr. Naomi Wood               Office: Denison 211

Telephone: 532-2159                          Office Hours MW 4-5 and by appointment

e-mail address: njwood@ksu.edu       



British Survey 2 gives English majors a sense of the "big picture"--how English Literature may be understood chronologically as a dynamic, developing, various body of literary work, with concerns growing out of its own era, responding to what came before and imagining what might come after. It stresses that artists do not work in a vacuum--they react both to other artists and to their own historical, economic, and political contexts.

At the end of the course, you will have some big ideas and names to associate with commonly used terms, such as "Restoration," "Romantic," "Victorian," and "Modern." We'll have looked at characteristic poetry and prose of each period and talk about how writers both embody but also undercut the big generalizations. We'll also familiarize ourselves with some of the important innovations in art and form, and with a few important writers in each period.

The emphasis of the class will be upon continuing concerns about how English artists came to define themselves as writers and as a people; we'll also look at how people who weren't included in influential definitions--women, people of color, the poor--talked back. The similarities and differences between the English situation and American life might help us to have new insights into our own roles here in the early 21st century.

As you will come to appreciate, English literature is dynamic, diverse, and rich. We can't possibly do it complete justice, but I hope that you will be inspired to explore these literatures in greater depth in upper level classes.

Currently, the syllabus is a work in progress, which means that it will be updated as the semester progresses. For the most up-to-date version, please check my website at the address given at the top of this sheet.



The Norton Anthology of English Literature, The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century Vol. 1C, 7th edition. (You may use the Norton Vol. 1, 7th ed., if you already have it)

The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2, 7th edition


Also used:

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Norton Topics Online



8/20 Introduction to the Class

8/22 Restoration and Eighteenth Century (1660-1785):

            Literary Style and Taste in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

John Dryden, "The Author's Apology for Heroic Poetry and Heroic License 1C:2114-2122; Joseph Addison, "Wit: True, False, Mixed," Spectator 62 1C:2494-98; Samuel Johnson, "Pope's Intellectual Character, Pope and Dryden Compared," Lives of the Poets 1C:2746-49


8/25     Literary Style and Taste in the Eighteenth Century, cont.

                        Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism 1C:2509-25;

8/27     Satire

John Dryden, "A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire," 1C:2120-21; "Mac Flecknoe,"1C:2100-2105

8/29                 Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal" 1C:2473-79


9/1 Labor Day: No Class

9/3       Descriptive-Meditative Poetry

Oliver Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village" 1C:2858; George Crabbe, "The Village 1C:2867-74;

9/5                   Thomas Gray, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," 1C:2826-28; "Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard," 1C:2830-32;


9/8       Drama

                        William Congreve, The Way of the World 1C:2217-2280

9/10                 Congreve, cont.

9/12                 Congreve, cont.; William Hogarth, Marriage  -la--la-Mode 1C:2654-59


9/15     Race, Empire, and Nationalism

                        Aphra Behn. Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave

9/17                 Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; Samuel Johnson, "A Brief to Free a Slave," 1C:2811-12

9/19 No Class


9/22 The Romantic Period (1785-1830)

            The Spirit of the Age: the French Revolution

                        Edmund Burke, From Reflections on the French Revolution; Mary Wollstonecraft, From A Vindication of the Rights of Men; Thomas Paine, from The Rights of Man, 2:121-36

9/24                 Continued discussion; read online at Norton's web site: Introduction to the Romantic Period and the materials on the French Revolution

9/26     Visionary verse

                        William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, " 2:72-81


9/29     Literary Style and Taste in the Romantic Period

                        William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads 2:238-50; Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Selections from Biographia Literaria 2:478-85; Percy Bysshe Shelley, From A Defense of Poetry 2:789-801



10/1     Descriptive-Meditative Poetry

                        Anna Letitia Barbauld, "A Summer Evening's Meditation," 2:24; William Wordsworth, "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey," 2:235-37;

10/3                 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Frost at Midnight," 2:457-58; Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Mont Blanc," 2:720-22; John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn," 2:851-52


10/6     Satire

Mary Robinson, "January, 1795," 2:93; George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos," 2:555; Don Juan: Fragment; Canto 1 2:621-50

10/8     The Gothic

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein 2:905-1033

10/10               Wollstonecraft Shelley, cont.


10/13   Student Holiday

10/15               Review

10/17               Mid-semester Exam    To be continued . . . .


Final Exam: Thursday, December 18 4:10-6:00 p.m.

Please note that the final is mandatory and you are expected to take the final with your section. University policy regarding final exams is recorded at <http://courses.k-state.edu/fall2003/information/xam.htm>


2 Exams (50 percent)

Reading quizzes (5 percent)

Class Bulletin Board (25 percent) (see below)

Attendance and Participation (20 percent)

More than 4 absences make it impossible for you to get an "A" or "B" for class participation. Class participation means being here mentally as well as physically (I don't count you present if you make a practice of sleeping in class, omitting to read the day's texts, scheduling doctor appointments during class, leaving early or coming late, etc.)


How to fail this course: Be absent more than 9 times OR fail to complete the assigned work (the listserv, the tests, or the paper) OR plagiarize or cheat with your writing.


The Class Bulletin Board is an online forum for continuing or sparking class discussion outside of class. Online Discussions help students create an intellectual environment based on but also independent of their classroom experience by providing a forum for them to interact with each other as thinkers more directly than they often have a chance to do in a classroom. It is also a way for people who are shy in class to discuss topics in a less intimidating environment.


Expectations for Participation

Post comments to the bulletin board at least once every two weeks. An average posting should run about one or two paragraphs in length. In other words, your postings do not need to be long, but they must be substantive -- long enough to convey clearly the problem you are taking up and your point of view, connecting your comment to others' comments, as appropriate. Work at developing your ideas so that you're getting practice writing about books and ideas with attention to detail and substantiating evidence. Also, think about what your peers are saying. Do you understand everything? If you agree, how can you be interesting about your agreement by adding something new? I will monitor these discussions and assign a grade (at the end of the semester) based on the thoughtfulness of your comments, their ability to foster discussion among your classmates, and their responsiveness to both our readings and to your classmates' comments in class and on the bulletin board. If you do all three consistently, you make substantial progress toward an "A" in participation. In all, I will expect you to have seven comments of at least 250 words each posted by the end of the semester.


How to Use the ENGL 362 Class Bulletin Board--See the Instructions in your Syllabus.



Reading assignments. Assume that you should read the entire work or works by the first day it's discussed.


A cautionary note about plagiarism: Be inordinately careful to acknowledge the sources that have influenced your work. Should you incorporate the ideas, general phrasing, or exact words of any other source without properly crediting the author(s), you are guilty of plagiarism. The penalty for plagiarism can be severe: you may fail the course and the Dean notified of the reason for your failure. University policy advises that you may be expelled after two such incidents. See also the University website about K-State's Honor Code.


Tardiness. I expect you to turn work in at the beginning of class the day an assignment is due. Work turned in after the beginning of class is automatically docked 1/2 grade. Work turned in after the class is finished is docked 1 full grade, and then 1 more grade for every 24 hours turned in past the due date. If you know you will be absent, turn work in BEFORE it's due, rather than afterwards. I accept work turned in via e-mail.

All work must be completed to receive credit for this class.

This page was last updated Sunday, May 23, 2004
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