online syllabus:


course schedule:

class handouts:


electronic reserves:
(password 315)

groupwork project:

Literature 315: Enlightenment and Its Discontents

Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century

British Literature, 1660-1800

Winter 2010

Dr. Abby Coykendall

acoykenda at

Office: Pray-Harrold Hall 603G

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

Office Hours: M 7:40-8:40 PM; TTh 12:15-2:15 PM

~ or email for an appointment ~

Pray Harrold Hall 307
Tuesday & Thursday 11:00-12:15 PM
Registration #

Literature 315: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature

LITR 315 is a class in which you will investigate a wide variety of British literature from the period that spans the late seventeenth to the late eighteenth century.  This period is generally referred to as the “long” eighteenth century to accommodate the revolutions that precede and conclude the eighteenth century proper, both of which influence the direction of British culture profoundly.  Namely, the Restoration (of the British monarchy) following the Civil War, as well as, of course, the French Revolution, the period’s spectacular fin de siècle denouement.

Perhaps more than any other era, the eighteenth century represents a moment that we must evaluate and reevaluate to interrogate the values of our own time.  While often considered a quaint, tea-and-crumpets blueprint for civil societies across the globe, the British enlightenment witnesses both the positives and the negatives of modernity in the extreme.  Thus, in midst of a massive expansion of the slave trade, the birth of the market economy and global capitalism, as well as an increasingly rigid sex-gender system (later 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 and modernization at the fore.  Ultimately, we will 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 better 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 before and after it;

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

4) Partake in current approaches to the field by becoming acquainted with a select yet representative sample of literary theorists;

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

Required Texts:

The following textbook is available at Ned’s (; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross), as well as on 2-hour reserve at the Halle library circulation desk.  Make sure to get the same edition pictured below (double check 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 texts can be accessed online and printed for free on any campus computer.  See the Electronic Reserves (ER):, password 315. ** Make sure to bring copies of the texts that we are covering to class.  You will need everything on hand for group work and class discussions.

Course Itinerary:


Section One:

The Global Eighteenth Century (Enlightenment & Colonial Contact)

Main Assignments:

Research Report Essay Exam One

Cultural Case Study (Addison, Barbauld, Thomson), Oroonoko, Gulliver’s Travels, Interesting Narrative, Turkish Embassy Letters, & “Inkle and Yarico”

Theorists:  Edward Said (“Imagined Geography”)

Mary Louise Pratt (“Arts of the Contact Zone”)

Section Two:

The Private Sphere (Gender, Sexuality, and the Rise of the Middle Class)

Main Assignments:

Research Essay

Essay Exam Two

Rake’s Progress, Restoration Poetry (Behn, Rochester), Fantomina,  “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” “Ode on the Death,” “Rape of the Lock,” “Lady’s Dressing Room,” “Reasons,” & A Modern Venus

Theorists: Ruth Perry (“Colonizing the Breast”)

Terry Castle (Masquerade and Civilization)


Nothing is more vital for success in this course than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the reading assignments, response papers, and class discussions each day.  The more actively you participate, the more the course content can reflect your unique needs and interests.  As with any university course, homework will take around two hours to complete for every unit of class or, in other words, six hours per week.  See the Coursework and Extra-Credit (/cwk) handout for specific information, including ways to augment your grade through extra credit if you fall behind. *Note: abbreviated hyperlinks begin with the same sequence:

Instructor Availability:

I will be delighted to discuss any course-related questions, interests, or concerns in person (603G Pray Harrold) or by phone (487-0147) during my office hours, as well as through email (acoykenda at at any time.  Email is the most reliable way to reach me outside of the office since the messaging system for my office phone is dysfunctional at best.  Emails with straightforward questions usually receive a reply within a few hours to a day; those with thornier issues typically receive a reply before the next class period.  Please limit emails to inquiries which I alone can answer so that I can give more pressing inquiries of other students the attention that they deserve.  If, for example, you are unsure about a due date, consult the syllabus (/w10), the handouts (/hand.htm#l315), or the peers in your group (/ga.htm), and then email me only if that confusion persists.  The first time that you visit my office hours in person with a course-related inquiry, such as to get guidance with the homework, to discuss the readings that we have lately covered, or to brainstorm essay ideas, I will give you 10 points extra credit for the visit.




Participation (Responses, Homework, Groupwork, & Quizzes)

 due dates:


Examination #1: The Global Eighteenth Century (Self-Designed Essay Question)

March 9


Research Essay Stemming from Groupwork Project (5 Pages)

April 13


Examination #2: The Private Sphere (Self-Designed Essay Question)

April 22


Because this course primarily consists of reading and discussion—rather than facts, figures, or memorization—regular attendance is crucial.  You never need to explain your absences, as I always will assume that you have an excellent reason to miss class.  However, students who miss more than FOUR classes for any reason will have their final grade reduced by a full mark, and those who miss more than FIVE classes will not be eligible to pass.  Reserve the allowable absences for illnesses, car accidents, or other emergencies that prevent you from coming to class and make sure not to exhaust them too early in the term.  When you must be absent, contact the other students in your group (/ga.htm) to share notes or determine what you missed.  The first two absences are excused automatically, the missed homework is due on your return, and any changes to the schedule will be sent to the class as a whole by email.


The most essential information—due dates, assignment instructions, clarification of outstanding issues—is given at the beginning of class, so it is essential to come on time.  Try to arrive early just in case you encounter any problems along the way (traffic jams, late busses, no parking).  Arriving well into the period or leaving well before its conclusion each count as half an absence.  If you come in late, it is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet to avoid being marked absent.  Habitual lateness that disrupts the class will eventually be counted as an absence as well.

Classroom Etiquette:

It is important to be mindful of your peers during class time, listening to them with the same respect and attention that you hope to receive yourself.  Once class begins, do not distract your peers by walking in or out of the room unless there is a genuine emergency.  If you have a medical condition requiring you to exit from time to time, bring a doctor’s note affirming as such; otherwise, reserve all personal business for after class. 

Disruptive exits can be both mental and physical; students unprepared to do the groupwork for the day, or students discovered using laptops or phones for purposes unrelated to the course, will be asked to leave and marked absent.  This course has a no-laptop, no-cell-phone policy, so do not bother taking these instruments out during class time unless specifically asked to do so to look something up.

Academic Resources & Campus Safety:

At some point in the term, you might consider taking advantage of the Academic Projects Center, located in Halle (Room 104).  This support center, open from 11:00-5:00 Monday-Thursday, assists with research, writing, and technology skills necessary for success in this course.  Another support center is the International Student Resource Center (200 Alexander, 487-0370) dedicated to second-language students from abroad.  Also consider availing yourself of the campus escort service, Student Eyes and Ears for University Safety, by calling 48-SEEUS (487-3387).  If you sign up for the emergency text-messaging system (, DPS can notify us of any calamity afflicting the campus.

Grading Scale:





























Academic Integrity:

Understanding and avoiding academic dishonesty, and doing all coursework on your own, is imperative.  Copying the homework of peers, taking credit for essays that you find on the internet, or recycling your own essays written for other classes for double credit are all forms of academic dishonesty, and for very good reason.  Each interferes with the sole purpose, and the unique benefit, of going to college; namely, the unfettered exercise of an informed mind.  

The worst form of academic dishonesty is plagiarism, which, put simply, is taking either the ideas or the words of another person and reusing them as if they are your own.  You must acknowledge when you make use of concepts and/or expressions of other people without any exception under any circumstance, whether it be in drawing on Wikipedia for mundane (and quite possibly specious) information or in channeling the most holy of holy books for heavenly inspiration.  When describing the ideas of someone else in your own words, make sure to signal as such (e.g., So and so says X … ”); most importantly, when inserting the words of someone else into your own writing, make sure to credit that person for the passage and place quotation marks on either side (e.g., So and so says “X”).  Any writing that lacks these acknowledgements will pass as your own by default, and any writing that thus seems to be your own, without actually being your own, will be plagiarizing the original source.

Any instance of academic dishonesty will result in an automatic 0% grade for the assignment; any second instance will result in outright failure of the course.  There is no excuse for academic dishonesty, nor any exceptions to this policy, so make sure that your work is plagiarism-free before turning it in.


[Syllabus last modified January 6, 2010]