603C pray harrold hall
Mon & Wed 4:45 – 6:45pm
~email for appointments~
Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century
British Literature, 1660-1800
Dr. Abby Coykendall
Section # 26262
Monday & Wednesday 3:30 – 4:45pm
Pray-Harrold Hall 318
Literature 315: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
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 will find a celebration of art and culture that students of literature still cannot help but admire. We will test both the dystopian and utopian visions of the British enlightenment through a diverse array of texts that put issues of modernization at the fore, texts spanning from the late 1600s (“The Restoration”) to the late 1700’s French Revolution, the period’s spectacular fin de siŹcle denouement. Ultimately, we will expand rather than confine our engagement with the materials, not only putting literary works in dialogue with the historical and philosophical texts of the time, but also examining how these works shape the myriad claims to—and contestations against—modernity that continue to vex our own.
By the end of the semester, you 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 the literature influences the larger culture and that 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 and by researching one literary author in depth;
5) Enhance the study of the period by placing its literature and culture in a lasting dialogue with our own.
Bring copies of all required readings with you to class. You will need everything on hand for groupwork and class discussions. Some required materials, and many supplemental materials, are available in the course shell (canvas.emich.edu), printable and viewable from any campus computer.
The books below can be purchased at the EMU Bookstore in the Student Center or from other merchants, online or otherwise. You must get the correct edition—confirm the volume, edition number, and especially the ISBN number (a fingerprint of sorts for the book).
If your books are slow to arrive, the anthology is available on 2-hour reserve at the Halle library (check the catalogue for availability at portal.emich.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1208047).