Fall 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Jane Austen is unusual among English authors in being both beloved by a popular audience and respected by a scholarly one. While "Janeites" gather for Regency costume balls and films based on Austen's novels are guaranteed an audience, these books are far from escapist. Indeed, scholars increasingly emphasize the degree to which Austen's work engages the political and social issues of her day.
In this course, we will treat Austen as a pioneer in the development of the modern novel and as that odd creature, a witty moralist. We will also consider Austen's treatment of the French Revolution, of new economic models, of changing gender roles, and of modern concepts of human psychology. Readings will include all of Austen's novels, selected other texts from her time, and modern critical essays.
We will use the Oxford World Classics editions of the Austen novels except for Mansfield Park, where we will use the Norton Critical Edition.
Additional texts will include:
Sheridan, "The Rivals"
Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Wordsworth, The Prelude
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
1. Active preparation for and participation in seminar discussions. Students are expected to read primary and secondary works with equal attention and to bring their ideas to the table.
2. Proposal for, draft, and revision of one 15-page scholarly essay.