Charles P Laporte
Literature in an era of revolution that also sought continuity, when culture faced redefinition as mass culture and found in the process new demands and creative energies, new material and forms, and transformations of old ones. Readings range from works of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Shaw, to Dickens, Eliot, Hardy.
This course focuses upon British literature from 1830-1900. In many ways, these years gave rise to modernity as we now experience it, from the first appearance of modern vehicles (including trains, subways, and bicycles) to the first instantaneous electronic communication (the telegraph). These years also witnessed the birth of mass literacy and widespread new discussions of women's rights, children's rights, and animal rights. Ideas of literary value evolved dramatically during this period: women gained unprecedented positions in the literary world, the novel first received credit as a legitimate art form, and folk art (from crafts to fairy tales) also attained a new cultural value. Students for the course should look forward to studying novels, essays, poetry, and visual arts. There will be two 5 page papers and several short writing assignments.
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