online syllabus:


electronic reserves:
(password 315)

class handouts:


listserv email:

britlit at

halle library website:

~ schedule ~


Literature 315: Enlightenment and Its Discontents

Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century

British Literature, 1660-1800

Fall 2007

Dr. Abby Coykendall

acoykenda at

Office: Pray-Harrold Hall 603G

Office Phone: 734-487-0147 (messages only)

Office Hours: MW 12:15-1:30; Th 1:00-3:30 PM

~ or email for an appointment

Pray Harrold Hall 407
Monday & Wednesday 11:00-12:15 PM
Registration #17298


Literature 315: Studies in Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature

LITR 315, formerly known as “Literature of the Neoclassical Period,” is a class in which you will investigate a wide variety of British literature from the period that spans the late seventeenth and eighteenth century.  This period is generally referred to as the “long” eighteenth century in order to accommodate the revolutions that precede and conclude the eighteenth century, revolutions which influence the direction of British culture profoundly—the Restoration (of the British monarchy) following the Civil War and, of course, the French Revolution, the period’s spectacular fin de sičcle denouement.  In addition to neoclassicism, which is only one of many literary movements prevalent at the time (and not necessarily the most interesting or even the most important one), we will consider other genres also representative of the period, whether they be gothic, orientalist, libertine, sentimental, or rococo. 

Perhaps more than any other period, the eighteenth century represents a moment that we must evaluate and reevaluate to challenge the values of our own time.  Although often considered the quaint, tea-and-crumpets blueprint for civil societies across the globe, the British eighteenth century witnesses both the positives and negatives of modernity in the extreme.  Thus, in midst of a massive expansion of the slave trade, the birth of the market economy and finance capitalism, as well as an increasingly rigid sex-gender system (culminating in “Angle of the House” Victorian domesticity), we find a celebration of art and culture that students of literature still cannot help but admire.  We will test both the apocalyptic and utopian visions of the British enlightenment through a diverse array of texts that put issues of modernity at the fore.  Ultimately, whether discussing literature or world events, we will attempt to expand rather than confine our engagement with the material, not only putting literary works in dialogue with the historical and philosophical texts of the time, but also examining how they shape the myriad claims to (and contestations against) modernity that continue to vex our own.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the semester, students will be able to

1)   Comprehend, appreciate, and critically examine restoration and eighteenth-century literature;

2)   Recognize the most significant changes from the beginning to the end of the period, while also perceiving the ways in which the period differs from those coming before and after it;

3)     Make connections between the literature of the period and its historical context by tracing the ways in which the literature influences the larger culture and that culture influences the literature in turn;

4)     Partake in some of the most current and innovative approaches to the field by becoming acquainted with a select yet representative array of critical theorists;

5)  Reinforce and enrich the study of the period by placing its literature and its culture in a lasting dialogue with our own.

Course Itinerary:


Section One:

The Global Eighteenth Century

Main Assignment:

Essay Exam One 

Research Project

Case Study (“Lady’s Dressing Room” & “City Shower”); Selections from Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Equiano, Interesting Narrative; Steele, “Inkle and Yarico,” & Addison, “Royal Exchange”

Theorist: Edward Said (“Imagined Geography”)

Section Two:

Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Main Assignment:

Essay Exam Two

Research Essay

Restoration Drama & Poetry (Wycherley, Rochester, Behn); Pope, Rape of the Lock; Haywood, Fantomina; Gray, “Ode
on the Death of a Favorite Cat”; Hogarth, Marriage
; Goldsmith, “Deserted Village”; Selections from
Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters

Theorist: Ruth Perry (“Colonizing the Breast”)


Required Texts:

The following book is available at Ned’s (; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross), although additional copies may be available at other bookstores.  Make sure to get the same edition listed below even if you purchase the book online.  The most reliable way to get the correct edition is to search by the ISBN number, a fingerprint of sorts for the book.

Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century
Volume 3, Ed. Joseph Black (Broadview 2006; ISBN #

Other required texts are located in the Electronic Reserves (ER): (password 315).  Print the Electronic Reserve materials in advance from the computers on the first floor of the Halle library, where you will find a station with multimedia computers equipped with the Course Reserve software, as well as technicians nearby should you encounter any kind of problem. 

** Make sure to bring a copy of each text that we will be discussing to class, whether it be the textbook or a handout from the Electronic Reserves.  You will need to have read the assigned material, and have it on hand, for groupwork and class discussions.


Nothing is more vital for success in this course than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the reading assignments and class discussions.  As with any university course, the homework will take around two hours for every hour of class, so you can expect to spend six hours each week completing the various assignments and readings. 

Writing Assignments

There will be a significant number of writing assignments: intermittent but informal responses, two essay exams, as well as a 3-page research report and a 5-page research essay.  The primary difference between the responses and the research essay is that with the responses, the mechanical elements of writing do not matter in the least, and the goal is to freely and openly express ideas; whereas, with the research essay, the mechanical elements of writing must be attended to very thoroughly and the goal is to defend a focused argument clearly, coherently, and persuasively. 

Collaborative Groupwork

Guidelines on the semester-long collaborative groupwork project, which will culminate in the research essay that you will write on your own, are available in the Electronic Reserves and online:  All in all, the project entails 1) reading and then researching one of the course materials in advance; 2) composing a series of discussion questions in cooperation with the peers in your group; 3) presenting the materials to the rest of the class; and 4) writing a research essay on the materials.

Critical Thinking / Essay Examinations

In order to encourage critical thinking about the material, the exams will be question driven as well.  There will be one exam at the middle of the semester and another at the end of the semester, each with two sections.  The first section (worth 30%) will have two critical responses, in which you will apply secondary criticism to the literary works, and the second section (worth 70%) will have an essay question relating to the bulk of the primary materials. 

You will design two essay questions on your own before the exams begin and thus be able to make your essay reflect the issues most of interest to you; that is, so long as you are able to address the majority of the materials covered during that portion of the course.  You will be able refer to an outline during the exams, but not to the texts themselves.


The more actively you participate in the class discussions or other collaborative assignments, the more the course content can be tailored to meet your particular interests and needs.  The participation grade is a considerable portion of your final grade—20%—so keep up with the coursework and contribute to class discussions as actively as you feel comfortable. 


Participation: Responses, Homework, Groupwork, & Quizzes

due dates:


Exam Section 1: The Global Eighteenth Century

October 24


Exam Section 2: Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality & Gender

December 17



5-Page Research Essay Stemming from Collaborative Project

December 14

(5:00 PM)


Participation points accumulate throughout the semester, serving as a barometer of your ongoing engagement in the course.  The Synopsis of Assignments is available online, which details how to complete (and how to makeup) coursework:  This handout also describes the extra-credit opportunities that you can do to enhance your grade.

Academic Integrity:

Plagiarism is a very serious offense against the Code of Student Conduct.  Any cheating on the exams or plagiarized writing will automatically result in a failing, zero-percent grade for the assignment, as well as in further disciplinary action from Student Judicial Services if egregious. 

The general rule is that if you use three or more words of another writer in a row without enclosing those words in quotation marks and acknowledging your source, you are guilty of plagiarism.  See for more specific guidelines on plagiarism.  Turning in a paper that you wrote for another course for this course, i.e. recycling the same words for double credit, also constitutes academic dishonesty at EMU

Attendance, Lateness, and Classroom Etiquette:

Because this course primarily consists of reading and discussion — rather than facts, figures, or memorization — attendance is crucial.  After five absences, your final letter grade will start being reduced by one third; that is, the sixth class missed will turn a final grade of an A into an A-; the seventh, into a B+; and so on.  These five absences are for emergencies, so make sure to conserve them for the end of the term when you may become ill or have other extenuating circumstances.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you have not been marked absent because you were late.  Leaving halfway through a class period or arriving halfway into one each count as half an absence.

Please do not distract other students by coming in late, leaving the room, whispering to your neighbors, or answering your cell phone.  Once class starts, you should only walk in or out of the room if there is a genuine emergency.  Refrain from talking with other students during class time, instead raising your hand and bringing whatever questions or concerns you have to the attention of the entire class.  Also make sure to listen to your fellow students with the same respect and attention that you would want to receive if you were speaking.    


Section One—The Global Eighteenth Century

Wednesday, September 5: Overview of Course; Introductions; Conjectural Response/Homework: 1) Read syllabus closely (preferably online) and jot down any questions that you have; 2) Read “Restoration and Eighteenth Century (Part I)” in the Electronic Reserves (ER), password 315; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Jonathan Swift, “Lady’s Dressing Room,” in the ER or Broadview Anthology (BA), p. 307; 4) Read the Collaborative Groupwork Project handout; 5) Survey Descriptions of Texts for Groupwork [ER]; 6) Make a list of your three preferred texts in order (if you email it to acoykenda at, you are more likely to get your first choice).

Monday, September 10: Review Syllabus, Survey Period and Project, Discuss Swift/Homework: 1) Read “Restoration and Eighteenth Century (Part II)” [ER 919-927]; 2) Begin “Introduction,” Broadview Anthology [XXIX-XLIV]; 3) Read background on Swift and “Description of a City Shower” in light of the two introductions and the other Swift poem [BA 302-4]; 4) Review the Synopsis of Assignments; 5) Email the list of your three preferred texts to acoykenda at by Sept. 11 if you missed class last time.

Wednesday, September 12: Research Demo; Discuss Introductions & Swift/Homework: 1) If you haven’t already, read Collaborative Groupwork Project handout; 2) See List of Group Assignments to confirm which group you are in; 3) Check the Descriptions of Texts [ER], which specifies where to locate your groupwork texts, as well as what to read in conjunction with them; 4) Read all of the materials assigned to your group.

Monday, September 17: Groupwork Step One (Notes will be in ER)/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions on Edward Said [ER]; 2) Read Said, “Imaginative Geography” [ER]; 3) Read “Travel, Trade, and Empire” [ER 13-30]; 4) Ongoing Project: Research report due 10/1.

Wednesday, September 19: Watch & Discuss Edward Said on Orientalism/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions on Gulliver’s Travels [ER]; 2) Begin Swift, Gulliver’s Travels [BA 317-46]; 3) Read background on Joseph Addison [BA 427-28]; 4) Read Addison, Spectator #69, “Royal Exchange” [BA 711-12 (or ER)]; 5) If you miss class, watch the Said video on reserve at the Halle library; 6) Ongoing Project: Research report due 10/1.

Monday, September 24: Discuss Addison & Swift/Homework: 1) Continue Swift, Gulliver’s Travels [BA 346-65]; 2) Re-read Said, “Imaginative Geography” [ER]; 3) If you are in Groups 1-2, write down one quote from Said and one from Gulliver’s Travels Part One to compare/contrast in class; if you are in Groups 3-6, do the same with Said and Gulliver’s Travels Part Two; if you are in Groups 7-8, do the same thing Said and Addison; 4) Ongoing Project: Research report due 10/1.

Wednesday, September 26: Discuss Addison, Swift, & Said//Homework: 1) Finish 3-page Research Report (See; Remember it must be double-spaced, in 12-point, Times New Roman font, with only 1-inch margins.

Monday, October 1: Research Report Due; Groupwork Step Two (Notes will be available in ER)/Homework: 1) Read Swift, Gulliver’s Travels [BA 365-94]; 2) Group One must email discussion questions to acoykenda at by 1 PM on Oct. 7th; Group Two by 1 PM on Oct. 9th; Group Three by 1 PM on Oct. 14th; 3) All remaining groups should consult the List of Group Assignments and highlight when their discussion questions are due on the syllabus.

Wednesday, October 3: Discuss Gulliver’s Travels/Homework: 1) Finish Swift, Gulliver’s Travels [BA 394-413]; 2) Write a 250-word response (typed or otherwise) on Part IV of Gulliver’s Travels, incorporating a quote from Said in some fashion and drawing on the earlier portions of the novel that you find most pertinent.

Monday, October 8: Conclude Gulliver’s Travels/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Richard Steele [ER]; 2) Read Background on Steele [ER]; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Steele, Spectator #11, “Inkle and Yarico” [ER]; 4) View the America Awakens etching and Exotic Tourism Ad by way of comparison [ER].

Wednesday, October 10: Group One Presents Steele/Homework: 1) Read Robinson Crusoe Summary [ER] and background on Daniel Defoe [BA 242-43]; 2) Consult Discussion Questions for Defoe [ER]; 3) Read Selections from Defoe, Robinson Crusoe [ER]; 4) See “Illustrating Robinson Crusoe” [BA 271-73]; 5) Optional: Read selections in anthology [BA 249-70].

Monday, October 15: Conclude Steele; Group Two Presents Defoe/Homework: 1) Read “Slavery and the Slave Trade in Britain” [Norton Topics Online]; 2) Consult Discussion Questions for Equiano [ER]; 3) Read Selections from Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative [BA 742-52]; 4) Optional, but recommended: Nell Boyce, “Out of Africa?” [ER]; 5) If you are in Groups 1-3, write a response comparing and contrasting Defoe with Addison; if you are in Groups 4-6, do the same with Defoe and Steele; if you are in Groups 7-8, do the same with Defoe and Equiano.

Wednesday, October 17: Discuss Transatlantic Slave Trade; Group Three Presents Equiano; Begin Review for Exam One/Homework: 1) Review Handout on Exam One [ER or]; 2) Optional Reading, “Taking Essay Exams” [ER]; 3) Review Section One Materials; 4) Compose Essay Question and Outline for Exam One.

Monday, October 22: Quiz on Section One; Workshop Outlines/Homework: 1) Prepare for Exam One; 2) Optional: Meet with me during my office hours to confer about your essay outline (MW 12:15-1:30; Th 1:00-3:30).

Wednesday, October 24: Exam One (The Global Eighteenth Century)/Homework: 1) Finish “Restoration and Eighteenth Century,” Part III [ER 911-918]; 2) Begin William Wycherley, Country Wife [BA 179-206].

Section Two—Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Monday, October 29: Introduction to Section Two; Discuss Wycherley/Homework: 1) Finish Wycherley, Country Wife [BA 206-30].

Wednesday, October 31: Discuss Wycherley & Restoration Drama/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Haywood [ER]; 2) Read Background on Haywood [BA 513-14]; 3) Read Eliza Haywood, Fantomina [BA 514-32 (or ER)].

Monday, November 5: Group Four Presents Haywood/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Restoration Poetry [ER]; 2) Read Background on Wilmot and Behn [BA 231-32; 139-40]; 3) Read (and Re-Read) John Wilmot, “Disabled Debauchee” and “Imperfect Enjoyment” [BA 236-37, 240-41]; 4) Read (and Re-Read) Aphra Behn, “Disappointment” [BA 140-42]; 5) Optional, but highly recommended: “Reading Poetry” [BA 863-82].

Wednesday, November 7: Group Five Presents Restoration Poetry/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Montagu [ER]; 2) Read Background on Lady Mary Wortley Montagu [BA 485-86]; 3) Read Montagu, “Reasons that Induced” [BA 488-89] and “Selected Letters” (Turkish Embassy Letters only) [BA 500-505]; 4) Optional: Watch The Libertine (Dir. Dunmore, 2004), perhaps writing an extra-credit response on that film and the Wilmot poems.

Monday, November 12: Group Six Presents Montagu/Homework: 1) Consult Handout on Ruth Perry [ER]; 2) Read Perry, “Colonizing the Breast,” Parts 1 & 2 [ER]; 3) Do your particular task in the 250-word response.

Wednesday, November 14: Jigsaw Coverage of Perry/Homework: 1) Read Background on Pope [BA 434-36]; 2) Read (and Re-Read) Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock, “Letter” & Cantos 1-3 [BA 442-51]; 3) Still optional, but highly recommended: “Reading Poetry” [BA 863-82].

Monday, November 19: Discuss The Rape/Homework: 1) Read (and Re-Read) Pope, Rape of the Lock, Cantos 4-5 [BA 451-56]; 2) Make a list of three images, symbols, or other poetic devices that found in Cantos 1-3 that recur in Cantos 4-5.

Wednesday, November 21: Continue Discussion of The Rape/Homework: 1) Consult the Battle of the Sexes Handout [ER]; 2) Re-Read Pope, Rape of the Lock in its entirety [BA 442-56]; 3) Write a 250-word response arguing for either Proposition A or Proposition B on the handout.

Monday, November 26: Battle of the Sexes Debate/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Gray; 2) Read Background on Thomas Gray [BA 603-604]; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Gray, “Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat” [BA 606 (or ER)]; 4) Review William Blake’s Illustrations for Gray’s Ode [ER].

Wednesday, November 28: Group Seven Presents Gray/Homework: 1) Read Background on Hogarth [ER]; 2) Review the images and read the accompanying text for William Hogarth’s Marriage A-la-Mode [BA 719-24], preferably online where the images are larger and in color (

Monday, December 3: Watch and Discuss Hogarth’s Marriage ŕ la Mode/Homework: 1) Consult Discussion Questions and Read Background on Goldsmith [BA 677-78]; 2) Read (and Re-Read) Oliver Goldsmith, “Deserted Village” [BA 677-83]; 3) Write a 250-word response comparing and/or contrasting Goldsmith with another Section Two author, depending on which group you are in: Wycherley (Group 1); Behn (Group 2); Rochester (Group 3); Montagu (Group 4); Haywood (Group 5); Gray (Group 6); Pope (Group 7), or Hogarth (Group 8).

Wednesday, December 5: Group Eight Presents Goldsmith/Homework: 1) Review Handout on Exam Two [ER] and begin preparing essay question/outline; 2) Review Conjectural Responses from the first day of class; 3) Write an optional, 250-word extra-credit response on the Conjectural Response (see Synopsis for details); 4) Work on outstanding assignments like the 5-page Research Essay or make-up responses, which need to be turned in by 5 PM on December 14 at the latest.

Monday, December 10: Course Retrospect/Homework: 1) Continue review of Section Two materials; 2) Compose essay question and outline for exam two; 3) Optional: Meet with me during my office hours to confer about your outline (MW 12:15-1:30; Th 1:00-3:30).

Wednesday, December 12: Quiz on Section Two; Workshop Essay Outlines/Homework: 1) Continue Preparation for Exam Two; 2) Complete all remaining homework assignments and the research essay; 3) Either drop assignments in my mailbox in the English Dept. (PH 612) or slide them under my office door (PH 603G) by 5PM on 12/14.

Friday, December 14 (5:00 PM): Research Essay and Outstanding Homework Due/Homework: 1) Continue Preparation for Exam Two.

Monday, December 17 (11:00-12:30 PM): Exam Two (Inventions, Ideologies)

[Syllabus last modified September 4, 2007]