online syllabus:



electronic reserves:

(password 315)

class handouts:



halle library website:


literature databases:


~ schedule ~


Literature 315: Enlightenment and Its Discontents

Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century

British Literature, 1660-1800

Winter 2007

Dr. Abby Coykendall


Office: Pray-Harrold Hall 603G

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

Office Hours: M 3:15-5:30; Th 12:45-3:30 PM

~ or email for an appointment ~ 

Pray Harrold Hall 308
Monday & Wednesday 2:00-3:15 PM
Section Registration # 24601


Enlightenment and Its Discontents: Studies in Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature

Literature 315, otherwise 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, eighteenth, and early nineteenth century.  This period is generally referred to as the “long” eighteenth century in order to account for the revolutions that precede and conclude the eighteenth century, both of which influence the direction of British literary 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 nor even the most important one), we will consider other genres also representative of the period, whether they be gothic, orientalist, libertine, sentimental, or even those prevailing in the visual arts such as the picturesque, chinoiserie, 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.  And 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 itself differs from those 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 culture and the ways in which the culture influences the literature in turn;

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

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

Course Itinerary:


Section One:

The Global Eighteenth Century

Main Assignment:

Essay Exam One 

Begin Research Project

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

Theorist: Edward Said (Orientalism)

Section Two:

Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Main Assignment:

Essay Exam Two

Complete Research Essay

Restoration Poetry (Rochester, Behn); Pope,
Rape of the Lock; Haywood, Fantomina; Gray, “Ode
on the Death of a Favorite Cat”; Hogarth, Marriage
; Gay, Beggar’s Opera; Selections from
Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters

Theorist: Ruth Perry (“Colonizing the Breast”)


Required Texts:

The following textbook is available at Ned’s (http://www.nedsbooks.com/emu/; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross St.), although additional copies may be available at other local bookstores:


Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century
Volume C, Ed. Lawrence Lipking (Norton 2006; ISBN #0-393-92719-0)

Make sure to get the same edition pictured above even if you purchase the book online.  The most reliable way to get the correct edition is to search by ISBN number, a fingerprint of sorts for the book.  Many other required texts are located online in the Halle library’s Electronic Reserves (ER): http://reserves.emich.edu/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=1321 (password 315).  It is best to print out the Electronic Reserve materials every few weeks in advance from the multimedia computers on the first floor of the Halle library.  These computers are more likely to open the files (and to open them quickly) than your own computer, and printing the materials from that location will be entirely free.  Technicians are nearby should you encounter any kind of problem.


Nothing is more vital for success in this course than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the reading assignments and class discussions.  Make sure to bring a copy of each text that we will be discussing to class, whether it be a print out from the Electronic Reserves or a selection from the anthology.  You will need to have read all of the assigned material, and have it on hand, for the groupwork and class discussions.  As with any university class, the homework will take around two hours for every unit of the course, so you can expect to spend six hours each week completing the various homework 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 short but polished 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 5-page research essay that you will author on your own, will be available in the Electronic Reserves and online: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/315/project.htm.  All in all, the project entails 1) reading and 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, perhaps based on one or two of the discussion questions that your group designed.

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 exam at the end of the semester, each with two sections: the first section (worth 35%) will have at least two critical responses, in which you will apply the literary criticism or the historical context to the primary literature, and the second section (worth 65%) will have an essay question relating to the bulk of the primary materials, an essay question which you will have conceived and designed on your own in advance.  In effect, in the second section, you can write on any topic that you like, so long as you are able to address the majority of the materials covered during that section.  You will be able refer to an outline during the exams, but not to the texts themselves.


The more actively that you participate in the class discussions and other collaborative assignments, the more that I can tailor the direction of course to meet your particular interests and concerns.  As indicated in the table that follows, the participation grade is a considerable portion of your final grade — 20% — so keep up with the reading, response, and groupwork assignments and make your voice heard in class. 


Responses, Homework, Groupwork, Participation, & Presentation

due dates:


Essay Exam (Section 1): The Global Eighteenth Century

March 7


Essay Exam (Section 2): Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality & Gender

April 23



5-Page Research Essay Stemming from Collaborative project

April 30 at the latest

(see the schedule)


Response/Participation points accumulate throughout the semester, serving as a barometer of your ongoing participation in the course.  Missing classes and/or not doing the required reading will especially hinder your ability to finish these assignments promptly and properly.  The Synopsis of Assignments is available online, which details how to complete (and how to makeup) the various kinds of coursework: http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/315/makeup.htm.  It also describes the various extra-credit assignments 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 the 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.  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. 

See http://www.emich.edu/halle/plagiarism.html for more specific guidelines on plagiarism.  With the internet, plagiarism is easy and tempting to do; however, the internet also makes plagiarism that much more easy to catch and document, so do not even think about doing it in this class or elsewhere.


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.  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 or by answering your cell phone.  You should also never walk in or out of class midway through unless there is a genuine emergency.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you have not been marked absent because you were late.    


Section One — The Global Eighteenth Century

Monday, January 8: Overview of Course; Student Introductions; Conjectural Response on the Period/HOMEWORK: 1) Read the syllabus closely (preferably online) and jot down any questions that you have; 2) Begin reading “Restoration and Eighteenth Century” from the Longman Anthology, Part I, 905-910, available in the Electronic Reserves [ER], password 315; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Jonathan Swift, “Lady’s Dressing Room,” available in the ER or the Norton Anthology [NA], pgs. 2590-93; 4) Survey the Descriptions of Texts for Groupwork [ER]; 5) Make a list of your three preferred texts for groupwork in order; 6) Email the list of three texts to me as soon as possible (and at the latest by Jan. 16) if you miss class Wednesday. [13 pgs.]

Wednesday, January 10: Review Syllabus, Groupwork, & Conjectural Responses; Discuss Swift &“Modern Venus”/HOMEWORK: 1) Get the Norton Anthology; 2) Continue reading “Restoration and Eighteenth Century” from the Longman Anthology, Part II, 919-927 [ER]; 3) Begin reading “Restoration and Eighteenth Century” from the Norton Anthology [NA 2057-70]; 3) Re-read Swift, “Lady’s Dressing Room,” in light of the historical context; 4) Read the handout on the Collaborative Groupwork Project and review the Synopsis of Assignments; 5) Make sure to email the list of your three preferred texts to me as soon as possible (and at the very latest by Jan. 16) if you miss class. [23 pgs.]

Monday, January 15: No Class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Wednesday, January 17: Research Demonstration; Discuss Introductions, Swift, & Groupwork Project/HOMEWORK: 1) If you haven’t already, review the handout on the Collaborative Groupwork Project; 2) See the List of Group Assignments (available by the 19th); 3) Read the material assigned to your group (Descriptions of Texts for Groupwork [ER] specifies where to locate the texts, as well as which texts to read in conjunction with them). [2+ pgs.]

Monday, January 22: Groupwork Step One (Notes will be available in the ER)/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions on Edward Said [ER]; 2) Read Said, “Imaginative Geography and Its Representations,” Orientalism [ER]; 3) Read “Travel, Trade, and the Expansion of Empire” [ER or Norton Topics Online]; 4) Ongoing Project: a) Do groupwork task; b) Read outside sources; c) Write research report due 2/5. [6+ pgs.]

Wednesday, January 24: Watch and Discuss Edward Said on Orientalism/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions on Gulliver’s Travels [ER]; 2) Read Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Introductory Material, Chapter 1-2 of Part I [NA 2301-3; 2323-39]; 3) Re-read Said, “Imaginative Geography” [ER]; 4) If you miss class, watch the video on reserve at the Halle library; 5) Ongoing Project: a) Do groupwork task; b) Read outside sources; c) Write research report due 2/5. [25+ pgs.]

Monday, January 29: Discuss Orientalism and Gulliver’s Travels/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 5-6 of Part I [NA 2347-56]; 2) Background on Joseph Addison and Richard Steele [NA 2468-70; 2473-75]; 3) Addison, “The Royal Exchange,” Spectator #69 [NA 2478-81 (or ER)]; 4) Ongoing Project: a) Do groupwork task; b) Read outside sources; c) Write research report due 2/5. [18+ pgs.]

Wednesday, January 31: Discuss Coffee-House Capitalism & Gulliver’s Travels/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 1-2 of Part II [NA 2365-75]; 2) Finish Project Step Two: a) Do groupwork task; b) Read outside sources; c) Write research report due next class. [11+ pgs.]

Monday, February 5: 2˝-Page Research Report Due; Groupwork Step Two (Notes will be available in the ER)/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 3 & 5 of Part II [NA 2375-81, 2384-89]; 2) Group One must email the discussion questions to me by 3 PM on the 11th; Group Two by 3 PM on the 13th; Group Three by 3 PM on the 18th; 3) All remaining groups should consult the schedule on the List of Group Assignments and take note of when their discussion questions are due. [12 pgs.]

Wednesday, February 7: Discuss Gulliver’s Travels/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 8 of Part II; Chapter 2 of Part III; Chapter 1, 2, 5, 11 (last 2 paragraphs), & 12 of Part IV [NA 2398-2410; 2418-25; 2431-35; 2458-62]; 2) Write a 250-word response (typed or otherwise) on Gulliver’s Travels, incorporating Said in some fashion. [27 pgs.]

Monday, February 12: Conclude Discussion of Gulliver’s Travels/HOMEWORK: 1) View America Awakens etching and Exotic Tourism ad [ER]; 3) Consult Discussion Questions for Steele [ER]; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Richard Steele, “Inkle and Yarico” [NA 2476-78 (or ER)]. [16 pgs.]

Wednesday, February 14: Discuss the Romancing of Empire; Group One Presents Steele/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Robinson Crusoe Summary [ER]; 2) Background on Daniel Defoe [NA 2288-89]; 3) Consult Discussion Questions for Defoe [ER]; 4) Read Selections from Defoe, Robinson Crusoe [ER]. [30 pgs.]

Monday, February 19: Conclude Romancing of Empire Discussion; 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 [NA 2850-59]; 3) Write an informal, 250-word response comparing and contrasting Defoe with either Addison, Steele, or Equiano. [11 pgs.]

Wednesday, February 21: Discuss Transatlantic Slave Trade; Group Three Presents Equiano; Begin Review for Exam One/HOMEWORK: 1) Review Handout on Exam One [ER]; 2) Optional Reading, “Taking Essay Exams” [ER]; 3) Review Section One Materials; 4) Draft Essay Question and Outline for Exam One. [0 pgs.]

Monday, February 26—Wednesday, February 28:* NO CLASS (Winter Recess)

Monday, March 5: Survey Section to Review for Exam; Peer-Review Outlines/HOMEWORK: 1) Prepare for Exam One; 2) Optional: Meet with me during my office hours to confer about your essay outline (M 3:15-5:30; Th 12:45-3:30). [0 pgs.]

Wednesday, March 7: Exam One (The Global Eighteenth Century)/HOMEWORK: 1) Finish “Restoration and Eighteenth Century” from the Longman Anthology, Part III [ER 911-918]; 2) Finish “Restoration and Eighteenth Century” in the Norton Anthology [NA 2070-80]; 3) Be prepared for a brief quiz on the introductions next class. [17 pgs.]

Section Two — Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Monday, March 12: Introduction to the Section; Quiz/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Restoration Poetry [ER]; 2) Background on Rochester and Behn [NA 2167-68; 2178-80]; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Earl of Rochester, “Disabled Debauchee” and “The Imperfect Enjoyment” [NA 2168-71]; 4) Read (and Re-Read) Aphra Behn, “The Disappointment” [NA 2180-83]; 5) Optional: Watch The Libertine, perhaps writing an extra-credit response (Dir. Laurence Dunmore, 2004). [17 pgs.]

Wednesday, March 14: Group Four Presents Restoration Poetry/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Haywood [ER]; 2) Background on Haywood [NA 2565-66]; 3) Read Eliza Haywood, Fantomina [NA 2566-85 (or ER)]. [25+ pgs.]

Monday, March 19: Group Five Presents Haywood; Set up Jigsaw Coverage of Perry/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Montagu [ER]; 2) Read Background on Lady Mary Wortley Montagu [NA 2584-85]; 3) Read Montagu, “Reasons that Induced” [NA 2593-95]; 4) Read Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters [ER]. [13 pgs.]

Wednesday, March 21: 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. [23 pgs.]

Monday, March 26: Jigsaw Coverage of Perry/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Background on Pope (NA 2493-96; 2513-21); 2) Read (and Re-Read) Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock, “Letter” & Canto 1-2 [NA 2513-21]. [20 pgs.]

Wednesday, March 28: Conclude Jigsaw Coverage of Perry; Discuss Poetics, Pope; & The Rape/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult the Battle of the Sexes Handout [ER]; 2) Finish Pope, Rape of the Lock, and re-read the poem in its entirety[NA 2514-32]; 3) Write a 250-word response arguing for either Proposition A or Proposition B on the handout.  [45 pgs.]

Monday, April 2: Continue Discussion of Pope; Battle of the Sexes Debate/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Gray; 2) Read Background on Thomas Gray [NA 2862-63]; 3) Read (and Re-Read) Gray, “Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat” [NA 2865-66 (or ER)]; 4) Review William Blake’s Illustrations for Gray’s Ode [ER]; 5) Also see the illustration available in the insert of the anthology [NA C32]. [18 pgs.]

Wednesday, April 4: Group Seven Presents Gray/HOMEWORK: 1) Consult Discussion Questions for Gay; 2) Read Background on John Gay [NA 2611-12]; 3) Begin reading Gay, Beggar’s Opera, Act 1-Act 2, Scene 13 [NA 2613-35]. [22 pgs.]

Monday, April 9: Group Eight Begins Presentation on Beggar’s Opera/HOMEWORK: 1) Read Background on Hogarth [NA 2656-57]; 2) Review the close-up images and read the accompanying text for William Hogarth’s Marriage A-la-Mode [NA 2658-63]; 3) Also review the version online, clicking for larger images (http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/315/hogarth.htm). [20 pgs.]

Wednesday, April 11: Watch and Discuss Hogarth’s Marriage ŕ la Mode (40 min.)/HOMEWORK: 1) Finish reading Gay, Beggar’s Opera, Act 2, Scene 14-Act 3 [NA 2635-56]; 2) Write a 250-word response comparing and/or contrasting Gay with Behn, Rochester, Haywood, Montagu, or Gray. [21 pgs.]

Monday, April 16: Group Eight Concludes Presentation on Beggar’s Opera/HOMEWORK: 1) Review Handout on Exam Two [ER]; 2) Draft Essay Question and Outline for Exam Two; 3) Optional: Meet with me during my office hours to confer about your outline (M 3:15-5:30; Th 12:45-3:30); 4) Review Conjectural Responses from the first day of class; 5) Write an Optional, 250-word Extra-Credit Response on the Conjectural Response (see the Synopsis of Assignments); 6) Make up any missing assignments by 4/23 at the latest. [0 pgs.]

Wednesday, April 18: Course Retrospect; Workshop Essay Outlines; Survey Section Two to Review for Exam/HOMEWORK: 1) Prepare for Exam Two; 2) Make up any missing assignments by 4/23 at the latest. [0 pgs.]

Monday, April 23 (1:30-3:00): Exam Two (Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender)*/HOMEWORK: 1) Work on 5-page Research Essay if not already completed.

Monday, April 30 (12:00 PM): *5-Page Research Essay Due (Either drop it in my mailbox in the English Department, 612 Pray Harrold, or slide it under my office door, 603G Pray Harrold; if the office is closed, you can approach the mailboxes from the back hallway; anything handed in after 12 PM sharp will not be given any credit, nor will papers sent by email.

[Syllabus last modified January 4, 2007]