Juliet D Shields
Selections from wits and satirists; poems by John Dryden and Alexander Pope; plays by Dryden, William Congreve, and other wits; the great satires of Jonathan Swift, and the first stirring of the novel.
The late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries saw the explosive growth of London and other English cities and an equally unprecedented outpouring of popular literature directed specifically at city-dwellers. This course will examine how urban growth dramatically changed literary representations of femininity and masculinity, and transformed the concept of personal identity. While some writers celebrated the city as a vibrant site of general debauchery (gambling, prostitution, drinking, masquerades), others suggested that literature could provide a moral antidote to the corruption that urban living engendered. We’ll explore the relationships between the city and the country, and between men and women, by surveying a variety of late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century drama, poetry, and fiction including Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, William Wycherly’s The Country Wife, Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock, and Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
lecture, discussion, group work
Class assignments and grading
In addition to active class participation, course requirements will include midterm and final exams, several reading responses, and an essay.