online syllabus:

electronic reserves:
(password 563)

class handouts:

listserv email:

halle library website:


section one, two, three



Literature 563:  Novel Geographies
Eighteenth-Century British Fiction& the
Cultural Institutions of the “Rise of the Novel”

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 ~

Registration #24607

Wednesday 6:30-9:10 PM

Pray Harrold Hall 618



Literature 563: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Novel Geographies: 18th-Century British Fiction & the Cultural Institutions of the “Rise of the Novel”

Literature 563 is a course in which you will investigate a wide variety of British prose fiction from the period that spans the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries.  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 proper, both of which influence the direction of British literary culture profoundly.  Namely, the Restoration (of the British monarchy) following the Civil War and, of course, the French Revolution, the period’s spectacular fin de siècle denouement.  In addition to neo-classicism, 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 no less representative of the period, whether they be gothic, orientalist, libertine, sentimental, or those prevailing in the visual arts such as the picturesque, chinoiserie, and rococo.  Likewise, although our primary focus will be on the novel, a genre widely thought to be first invented and developed during this period, we will consider non-fictional, semi-fictional, or at least not-necessarily-so-novelistic genres almost equally fashionable at the time, such as print journalistic vehicles like the Spectator, travel narratives, or epistolary works.  These quasi-canonical narratives are important in and of themselves, as well as in terms of how they shape the emergence of the novel (arguably, merely an omnivorous, mass-produced hybrid of them all) as the genre of choice and as the ultimate guardian of the literary real from this period onwards.

Perhaps more than any other period, the eighteenth century represents a moment that we must evaluate and reevaluate to challenge and interrogate 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 Itinerary

Section One:

Contact Zones: The Global Eighteenth Century

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; Richard Steele, “Inkle and Yarico”; Joseph Addison, “Royal Exchange”, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Selections from Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative

Section Two:

Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Eliza Haywood, Fantomina; John Cleland, Fanny Hill; Selections from Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters, Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, and Oliver Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield

Section Three:

Counter-Culture, Counter-Revolution: National and Sexual Geographies Revisited

Ann Radcliffe, The Italian:
Or the Confessional of the Black Penitents


Texts and Materials

The following books are available at Ned’s bookstore (; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross St.), although additional copies may be available at other EMU bookstores:  


Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; Or, The Royal Slave. Ed. Catherine Gallagher (Bedford, 1999; ISBN 0312108133)

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe.  Ed. John Richetti (Penguin 2003; ISBN 0141439823)

John Cleland, Fanny Hill: Or, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Modern Library 2001; ISBN 0395051649)

Ann Radcliffe, The Italian. Ed. Frederick Garber (Oxford, 1998; ISBN 0192832549)

Make sure to get the same editions pictured and listed below; otherwise the differing page numbers will make it difficult to follow along with class discussions.  Several required texts are located online through the Electronic Reserves (ER):  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 (except for the visual materials), whether it be a book or a handout from the Electronic Reserves.  You will need to have read the assigned material, and have it on hand, for the groupwork and class discussions. 

Assessment & Assignments

Aside from the required reading, there will one of three different kinds of homework assignments due almost every week of the semester: 1) an informal response; 2) a discussion question for your peers; or 3) outside research on one of the primary texts covered for the week.  Each group will cycle though these assignments as indicated on the Schedule.  See the List of Group Assignments ( for information about which group you are in, and see the Weekly Homework Assignments ( for more detailed information about the homework.


Weekly Homework Assignments
& Class Participation

 due dates:


Research Proposal (4 pages)

April 10


Research Presentation

April 24


Seminar Paper (16-20 pages)

April 20 (5PM)

I strongly recommend consulting with me as early as possible in the semester to identify the topics that you want to pursue in the research paper.  You can recycle any of the work that you generate through the homework assignments in the research paper itself; e.g. by expanding one of your responses into a more formal (and more organized) essay or by using one of the discussion questions as a basis for further analysis and research.

Academic Integrity

Any plagiarized writing will automatically result in a failing, zero-percent grade for the assignment.  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.    



Section One: Contact Zones — The Global Eighteenth Century

Week One (January 10):

Introduction to Course; Student Introductions; Conjectural Reponses

Week Two (January 17):

Primary Text:  Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (OR 34-100)

Context:  Catherine Gallagher Introduction (OR 3-25)

Theorists: Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, “Tropes of Empire,” Unthinking Eurocentrism [ER]

Criticism: Srinivas Aravamudan, “Petting Oroonoko,” Tropicopolitans, Selections [ER]

Optional Theorist: J. M. Coetzee, Lives of the Animals [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 1 Response; Group 2 Discussion Question; Group 3 Research

Week Three (January 24):

In-Class Film: Imagined Communities (39 min)

Primary Texts:  Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters [ER, Biography Optional]

Joseph Addison, “Royal Exchange” [ER]

Richard Steele, “Inkle and Yarico” [OR 190-98]

Context:  “Restoration and Eighteenth Century,” Longman Anthology, Parts I & II [ER]

Artwork:  America Awakens, Theodor Galle (1580) [ER]

Theorist:  Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Selections [ER]

 Mary Louis Pratt, “Arts of the Contact Zone,” Selections [ER]

Optional Criticism: Peter Hulme, “Inkle and Yarico” [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 2 Response; Group 3 Discussion Question; Group 1 Research 

Week Four (January 31):

In-Class Film: Edward Said on Orientalism (40 min)

Primary Texts:  Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative [OR 310-25, 391-92, 458-63]

 Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe [5-41]

Criticism: Nell Boyce, “Out of Africa?” 2 pgs. [ER]

Context:  Historical Context on Slavery [OR 208-17, 326-34, 393-401]

John Richetti, Introduction Robinson Crusoe [RC 3-22]

Theorist: Edward Said, “Imaginative Geography and Its Representations,” Orientalism [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 3 Response; Group 1 Discussion Question; & Group 2 Research 

Week Five (February 7):

Primary Text: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe [RC 41-141]

Criticism: Deidre Lynch and William Warner, Introduction to Cultural Institutions of the Novel [ER]

Peter Hulme, “Robinson Crusoe and Friday” [ER]

Theorist:  Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 1 Response; Group 2 Discussion Question; Group 3 Research 

Week Six (February 14):

Primary Text: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe [RC 141-241]

Criticism:    Roxann Wheeler, “‘My Savage,’ ‘My Man’” [ER]

John Bender, “Novel and the Rise of the Penitentiary,” Selections [ER]

Optional Theorist: Franz Fanon, “Fact of Blackness” [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 2 Response; Group 3 Discussion Question; Group 1 Research 


Section Two: Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Week Seven (February 21):

Primary Texts:  Oliver Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield, Selections [ER]

 Eliza Haywood, Fantomina [ER; Biography Optional]

Context: “Restoration and Eighteenth Century,” Longman Anthology, Part III [ER]

Theorist: Ruth Perry, “Colonizing the Breast,” Part I-II [ER]

Optional Theorist: Terry Castle, “Masquerade and Civilization” [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 3 Response; Group 1 Discussion Question; Group 2 Research 

Week Eight (February 28): NO CLASS (Winter Recess) Along with the homework specified below, either reading further into Fanny Hill or beginning The Italian over the break (supposing that you want to write your research paper on one or the other of those novels), and/or getting a start on your Research Proposal is recommended to make the end of the term go more smoothly.

Week Nine (March 7):

Primary Text: John Cleland, Fanny Hill [FH 1-100]

Context:  Gary Gautier Introduction to Fanny Hill (v-xiv)

Criticism: Nancy Miller, “‘I’s in Drag: The Sex of Recollection” [ER]

Theorist: Mary Russo, “Female Grotesques: Carnival and Theory,” Selections [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 1 Response; Group 2 Discussion Question; Group 3 Research

Week Ten (March 14):

Primary Text: John Cleland, Fanny Hill [FH 100-213]

Criticism: Felicity Nussbaum, “Prostitution, Body Parts, and Sexual Geography,” Torrid Zones [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 2 Response; Group 3 Discussion Question; & Group 1 Research

Week Eleven (March 21):

In-Class Film: Portions of Tristram Shandy (Dir. Michael Winterbottom, 2006)

Primary Text: Laurence Sterne, Selections from Tristram Shandy [ER**]

Criticism: Bonnie Blackwell, Selections from “Theater of the Mechanical Mother” [ER**]

Optional Criticism: William Warner, “Elevation of the Novel” [ER]

HOMEWORK: Group 3 Response; Group 1 Discussion Question; & Group 2 Research; All groups should work on Research Proposal (due April 11)


Section Three: Counter-Culture, Counter-Revolution: National and Sexual Geographies

Week Twelve (March 28):

Primary Text: Ann Radcliffe, The Italian [1-100]

Context:  E. J. Clery, Introduction to The Italian (vii-xxxi)

Criticism: Saglia Diego, “Looking at the Other” [ER]

HOMEWORK: Work on Research Proposal (due April 11)

Week Thirteen (April 4):

Primary Text: Ann Radcliffe, The Italian [101-201]

Criticism: Cannon Schmitt, “Techniques of Terror, Technologies of Nationality” [ER]

HOMEWORK: Work on Research Proposal (due April 11)

Week Fourteen (April 11): NO CLASS (Individual Conferences)

Primary Text: Ann Radcliffe, The Italian [202-302]

HOMEWORK: Research Proposal due during Conference; Check Conference Schedule

Week Fifteen (April 18):

Primary Text: Finish Ann Radcliffe, The Italian [303-415]

HOMEWORK: All groups write a response on the Italian incorporating either Schmitt or Diego

Week Sixteen (April 25): Research Presentations (Papers due either under my office door, 603G Pray Harrold, or in my department mailbox, 612 Pray Harrold, by April 30 at 5:00 PM)  

[Syllabus last modified January 9, 2007]