ENGL 395:
The Bloomsbury Group
Summer I, 2000; MTWRF 9:45-11:30 a.m.

Schedule of Classes | Web Resources | Bulletin Board

Professor Karin Westman
74 George Street, #101
Office: 953-5658
Required Texts
E.M. Forster, Howards End (1910) (Vintage International)
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927) (Harcourt Brace)
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (1931) (Harcourt Brace)
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (1941)
Class Pack (CPI = selections from Rosenbaum, The Bloomsbury Group; CPII = selected short stories, non-fiction prose, and critical essays; Class Pack available at SASE Ink, 49 Wentworth Street)
Course Description and Objectives:
During the next few weeks, we'll be exploring the art, literature, and culture of early twentieth-century England through the works of The Bloomsbury Group. We will examine the relationships among the literary works of Bloomsbury authors such as Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, and T.S. Eliot, focusing our attention on their perspectives on English society and personal experience. We will also consider their work in light of their 19th century predecessors (Matthew Arnold, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, G.E. Moore) and in light of the post-impressionist visual artists and art theorists of the Group (Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, Roger Fry).
Requirements and General Expectations:
Class Participation and Attendance: Class participation is, of course, required. To participate, you must complete the reading assigned for each class session and think carefully about what you have read. Your attendance is therefore important. You will not be penalized for your first three absences; thereafter, your final course grade will drop one grade (i.e., B+ to B) for each day missed. Excessive absences (five or more) may result in failure of the course. While I appreciate your offering explanations for absences, the only way to excuse an absence is to provide me with an official letter from your dean or an official notice of illness from the Health Center.
Presentation/Leading Class Discussion: Depending on the number enrolled, students will sign up individually or in pairs to present some background material for one of our class sessions OR sign up to initiate class discussion for one of our class sessions. Presentations (10 minutes in length) should provide information which can in turn encourage us to explore the connections between the secondary readings and our assigned primary reading. Questions for class discussion (3-5 in number) should highlight issues or themes or queries you think we should address in our class discussion of the reading assigned for that day. In most cases presentation/leading class discussion topics are provided below. Students should contact me in advance to confirm the focus of their presentation, and students leading class discussions should email me their questions by 9 pm the night before.
Papers and Response Papers: You will write two papers, one short (4-5 pp) and one long (8 pp); you will have a choice of two or three topics for Paper #1, and you will have a choice of text(s) for Paper #2. Both papers should follow the general rules of composition and be typed or word-processed with standard double-spacing, 1-inch margins, and either 10- or 12-point typeface. Title pages and cover sheets are unnecessary. Pages should be numbered, stapled together, and spell-checked. Papers are due by the date and time on the syllabus; late papers will be penalized one grade (i.e.: A to B) for each day late.
You will also write five response papers (2 pp in length) in response to our readings. Response papers are designed to ready you for class discussion and to explore ideas you could develop further in your longer papers. They are due the day indicated on the syllabus. In your response paper, you should not repeat previous class discussions or provide a mere summary of the reading. Instead, your response should begin to analyze the reading assigned for that class session, selecting an issue or theme or question you feel to be significant. Even better, I recommend that you select a word, phrase, or short quotation from the reading to initiate your response. Responses will be graded on a 1-5 scale: 5=A, 4=B, 3=C, 2=D, 1=F. I do not accept late response papers. (Extra credit opportunities will go towards your response paper grade.)
Technology: To offer another venue for discussion, we'll start using an electronic bulletin board; technical details will follow shortly. Each student should post at least twice a week to the bulletin board, responding to an existing thread of the conversation or initiating another; weekly postings will count for 5% of your class participation grade. I'll monitor these conversations, and may also participate, but I see the bulletin board primarily as a way for you to raise issues we haven't addressed--or addressed fully or to your satisfaction--during our regular class meetings. Though extra postings to the bulletin board will not automatically replace participation in our class discussions, regular contributions above and beyond your weekly posting can certainly improve your class participation grade.
We'll also be meeting several times in ECTR110 to use some technology there; preparation and participation for these class meetings should follow the guidelines outlined above for "Class Participation and Attendance."
Grading: The two papers will count for 40% of your final grade (15% and 25% respectively); the response papers will count for 20% of your final grade. Class participation (20%) and a final exam (20%) complete the requirements.

Schedule of Classes

(subject to change)


Bloomsbury in Context

June T 6 Matthew Arnold, from Culture and Anarchy; Walter Pater, "Conclusion" to The Renaissance; Oscar Wilde, from "The Critic as Artist"; G.E. Moore, from Principia Ethica; Forster, from The Longest Journey [handouts]


W 7
Overview: Marler, "Introduction" to Bloomsbury Pie (CPII: 3-17); Rosenbaum, "Forward" & "Introduction" (CPI: ix-xv, 1); Virginia Woolf, "Old Bloomsbury" (CPII: 159-179)
Ur-Bloomsbury at Cambridge & the Early Years in London: MacCarthy, "Bloomsbury, An Unfinished Memoir" & "The Influence of Henry James..." (CPI: 26-32); Keynes, "My Early Beliefs" (CPI: 48-64); Vanessa Bell, "Notes on Bloomsbury" (CPI: 73-84); Clive Bell, "Bloomsbury" (CPI: 84-92); Leonard Woolf, "Cambridge Friends and Influences" (CPI: 92-109) & "Old Bloomsbury" (CPI: 109-115)
R 8
Leonard Woolf, "The Beginnings of the Hogarth Press" (CPI: 117-122); Mansfield, "Prelude" (CPII: 219-263); T.S. Eliot, "Preludes" (CPII: 22-24)
Response Paper #1 Due (2 pages)
F 9
No Class Meeting -- Post to the Bulletin Board your response so far to the Bloomsbury Group and read ahead.
M 12
Forster, Howards End (3-201/Chps. 1-22); Garnett, "E.M. Forster" (CPI: 163-169); Forster, "What I Believe" (CPII: 165-172)
MEET IN ECTR110: DIWE conferences on personal relations and social class
T 13
Forster, Howards End (202-359/Chps.23-end); Marler, on Forster's Maurice from Bloomsbury Pie (CPII: 94-99)
Response Paper #2 Due (2 pages)
Leading Discussion: Schlegel, Wilcox, & Bast: Who Will Inherit England?
W 14
Strachey, "Preface," "Florence Nightingale," and "Dr Arnold" from Eminent Victorians (CPII: 9-11, 111-188)

Private Visions: Art and Life in Bloomsbury
R 15
Theory: Fry, "Introduction," "An Essay in Aesthetics," "The French Post-Impressionists," and "Retrospective" from Vision and Design (CPII: xi-xxv, 12-27, 166-170, 199-211 & notes)
Practice: MacCarthy, "The Post-Impressionist Exhibition of 1910" (CPI: 68-73); Leonard Woolf, "The Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition" (CPI: 115-117); Quentin Bell, "A Cezanne in the Hedge" (CPII: 136-139) & "The Character of Bloomsbury" (CPI: 318-326)
Presentation: Public Response to the Post-Impressionist Exhibitions
F 16
Virginia Woolf, "The Mark on the Wall" & "Kew Gardens" (CPII: 83-95, 297-88); "Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown" (CPII: 384-389) & "Modern Fiction" (CPII: 2148-2153)
Paper #1 Due (5 pages)
M 19
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1-71)
MEET IN ECTR110: DIWE Conferences on three questions: Conferences 1, 2, and 3.
T 20
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (71-143)
Response Paper #3 Due (2 pages)
Presentation: Woolf's Diaries, Vols. 2-3: Composition & Publication of To the Lighthouse
Presentation: Woolf's Letters, Vols.3-4: Composition & Publication of To the Lighthouse
W 21
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (145-209)
Leading Discussion: Part III of TTL
R 22
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (7-72); Woolf, "From 'A Sketch of the Past'" (CPII: 2218-2223)
F 23
No Class -- Read ahead.
M 26
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (73-181)
Response Paper #4 Due (2 pages):
Presentation: Woolf's Diaries, Vols. 3-4: Composition & Publication of The Waves
Presentation: Woolf's Letters, Vols. 3-4 : Composition & Publication of The Waves
T 27
Virginia Woolf, The Waves (182-297)
MEET IN ECTR110: DIWE Conferences on two questions: Conferences1 and 2.

Past, Present, & Future

W 28
Escapism or Engagement?: Forster, "The Ivory Tower" (CPII: 119-130); Woolf, "The Leaning Tower" (CPII: 128-154) & "Professions for Women" (CPII: 2214-2218)
Bloomsbury Observed: Spender, "Bloomsbury in the Thirties" (CPI: 259-269); Brenan, "Bloomsbury in Spain" (CPI: 283, 289-295); Rosenbaum, "Introduction" (CPI: 329-331); Garnett, "D.H. Lawrence" (CPI: 361-370); introduction to "F.R. Leavis" (CPI: 387-389)
R 29
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (3-118)
Response Paper #5 Due (2 pages)
F 30
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (119-219)
Presentation: Woolf's Diary, Vol.5: Composition of Between the Acts
Presentation: Woolf's Letters, Vol.6: Composition of Between the Acts
M 3
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts; Fitzgerald, "The Last Artist" (CPII: 108-110)
MEET IN ECTR110: DIWE Conferences on two questions: Conferences 1 and 2.
Paper #2 Due (8 pages)
T 4
No Class -- Independence Day
W 5
Bloomsbury Remembered & Repackaged: Leonard Woolf, "The Memoir Club" (CPI: 122-123); Marler, on the Bloomsbury Boom, 1980-1997 from Bloomsbury Pie (CPII: 263-284); Silver, from Virginia Woolf Icon (CPII: xv-xvii, 1-13, 28-31)
F 7
Final Exam (IDs & essay): 8:45 - 11:45 am


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Last updated 3 July 2000