online syllabus:


electronic reserve:


listserv website:


listserv address:


~ schedule ~


Literature 315: Enlightenment and Its Discontents

Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century

British Literature, 1660-1815


winter 2004


Dr. Abby Coykendall

Office Phone: (734) 487-0147

Office Location: Pray-Harrold Hall 603G
Office Hours: Monday 12-1; Wednesday 12-2, 3-5

~ or by appointment ~


Section Registration # 23910
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 - 10:50 AM
Pray-Harrold Hall 320



“The private person who squares his accounts with reality in his office demands that the interior be maintained in his illusions. …  From this springs the phantasmagorias of the interior.  For the private individual the private environment represents the universe.  In it he gathers remote places and the past.  His drawing room is a box in the world theater.”

Walter Benjamin, “Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century,” Reflections.

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

­Literature 315, otherwise known as “Literature of the Neoclassical Period,” is a class in which we will investigate a wide variety of British literature 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, both of which influence the direction of British literary culture profoundly.  Namely, the Restoration (of the monarchy) following the Civil War and, of course, the French Revolution, the period’s spectacular fin de siècle denouement.  In addition to neoclassicism, which is only one of many aesthetics prevalent at the time and not necessarily the most interesting nor even the most important one, we will consider a number of other genres also representative of the period, whether they be gothic, orientalist, libertine, or 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.  Often considered the quaint, tea-and-crumpets blueprint for civil societies across the globe, the British eighteenth century in fact 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 the texts in dialogue with the historical and philosophical contexts of the time, but also examining how they shape the myriad claims to (and contestations against) modernity that still continue to vex our own.

Required Texts

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:


v       Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Vol. 1c, Ed. Lawrence Lipking (Norton 1999; ISBN #0393975673)

v       Aphra Behn, The Rover, Ed. Anne Russell (Broadview 1999; ISBN #1551112140)

v       Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, Ed. Frederick S. Frank (Broadview 2003; ISBN #155111304x)

v       Matthew Gregory Lewis, The Monk, Ed. John Mullan (Broadview 2003; ISBN #1551112272)

v       Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, Ed. D. L. Macdonald & Kathleen Scherf (Broadview 2002; ISBN # 1551114798)

Make sure to get the same editions pictured and listed above; otherwise, the differing page numbers will make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to follow along with class discussions.  The four Broadview books are sold together in a single package with the fourth book free; however, you must purchase them each at the same time and in the same place to get the discount.  Many other required texts are located in the Halle Library’s Electronic Reserve:  (Contact another student or myself if you forget the password.)  If you experience difficulty viewing these texts on your computer, see the link “Problems viewing PDF or other file formats?  Read this!”  You may need to download small versions applications (Adobe, MS Word, etc.) in order to open them.  It is best to print out the Electronic Reserve materials in one sitting every few weeks in advance from the computers on the first floor of the Halle library, where you will see a station with multimedia computers all equipped with course reserve software.  These computers are much more likely to be able to open the files (and to open them quickly) than your own computer.  Hard copies of the Electronic Reserve texts will be available on reserve at the Halle circulation desk if you experience any complications, but you will then have to pay for the photocopying rather than printing them from the library computers for free.


Nothing is more vital for success in this class than keeping up with, and actively engaging in, the daily reading assignments and class discussions.  Make sure to bring a copy of each text that we will be discussing to class.  You will have to have read the assigned material, and have it on hand, when I call on you in class or when we do group work, which will be often.  There will also be periodic, unannounced quizzes to ensure that you are keeping up with the reading.



There will be a large number of writing assignments: informal responses, polished essays, and essay exams.  The midterm exam will have two sections — critical responses and an essay question — each comprehending the literary, filmic, and critical materials that we have covered in class.  The final exam — a take-home exam — will consist of a five-page essay question.  It will not be comprehensive.  Guidelines on the final research essay are available in the ER and online:  As with any university course, the homework will take around two hours for every hour of class, and you can thus expect to spend six hours each week completing the various assignments and readings.


The responses will be posted to the class listserv (, but they may also be handwritten if you prefer privacy or have difficulty accessing the internet.  Each response should be at least 500 words, or roughly two paragraphs and one page, although longer (or more engaged) responses will not only enhance your grade, but also increase the ability of other students and myself to offer feedback.  In contrast to the responses, the essays will offer a thorough examination of the readings and have the proper academic format.  The primary difference between a response and an essay is that with the response, the mechanical elements of writing do not matter in the least, and the goal is to freely and openly express ideas; whereas, with the 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.  





Responses, Participation,

and Research Presentation




Midterm Examination:

Critical Responses and Essay Question

February 20



Final Examination:

Take-Home Essay Question (5 pages)

April 19 (9:30 - 11:00)



Research Essay (6-8 pages)

April 26, 2003 (12:00)


The participation grade, largely based on responses, quizzes, and the research presentation, is a considerable portion of your final grade — 20% — so keep up with the reading and response assignments and make your voice heard in class.  Late responses are marked down only minimally, but must be turned in within a week of the initial due date.  The best way to make up a response is by comparing the reading that you missed to that which the class is currently considering, which will help both you and the other students make connections and comparisons that span the course as a whole.  Your total response points will be averaged, put on a fair grading curve, and then bumped up or down slightly depending on how actively you engage in class discussions. 


Any essay that is shorter than the required length will be marked down in proportion to the pages missing.  For instance, a 4 1/2-page essay that is supposed to be 6 pages can receive at most a grade of 75%, or C, since it is missing ¼ of the required length.  Likewise, any late essay will drop a third of a grade for each day late; that is, an A paper will turn into A- if turned in one day late, an A paper will turn into B+ if turned in two days late, and so on.   

Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism is a very serious offense against the Code of Student Conduct.  According to Funk and Wagnalls’ New Standard Dictionary (1921), plagiarism is the “act of plagiarizing or appropriating the ideas, writings, or inventions of another without due acknowledgment; specifically, the stealing of passages either for word or in substance, from the writings of another and publishing them as one’s own.”  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.  With the internet, plagiarism is quite 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.  Note: Turning in a paper that you wrote for another class as an essay for this class, i.e. recycling the same words for double credit, also constitutes academic dishonesty at EMU. 


Any plagiarized writing or cheating on the exams will automatically result in a failing, zero-percent grade for that assignment.  Thus, if you cheat on the first exam, you can expect, at most, to receive a C (or 75%) for your final grade, supposing that you did everything else perfectly, and if you plagiarize on the essay, you can expect, at most, to receive a C- (or 70%) for your final grade, again supposing that you did everything else perfectly. 


Course Itinerary


Section One:

The Global Eighteenth Century

 Main Assignment:

Responses & Discussion 

Selections from Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Equiano’s Interesting Narrative; Steele’s “Inkle and Yarico” and Addison’s “Royal Exchange”

Theorists: Edward Said

Section Two:

Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Main Assignment:

Midterm Exam

Restoration Theatre (Behn’s The Rover); Haywood’s Fantomina; Brief Tour thro’ the novel (Goldsmith, Richardson, and Fielding); Pope’s Rape of the Lock

Theorists: Ann Birmingham, Michel Foucault

Section Three:

The Eighteenth-Century Underworld: Rogues, Rogue Economies, and the Gothic

Main Assignment:

6-8 pg. Research Essay

Hogarth’s Marriage A-la-Mode; Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village”; Graveyard Poetry; Walpole’s Castle of Otranto; Lewis’ The Monk

Theorists: Raymond Williams

Section Four:

Retrofitting: Counter-Culture, Counter-Revolution, and the Surfeit of Conformity

Main Assignment:

Final Exam

Austen’s Northanger Abbey


Because this class primarily consists of reading and discussion — rather than facts, figures, or memorization — attendance is crucial.  You may be absent four times without penalty.  Each absence after that will result in a reduction of your final grade by one-third the letter grade: that is, the fifth class missed will turn a final grade of an A into an A-; the sixth, into a B+; and so on.  The four absences are for emergencies, so if you ditch the class four times, do not expect a reprieve from the rule if you become ill or have other extenuating circumstances towards the end of the semester.  If there is a documented emergency (a death in the family, lost limb, prison term, &c.) at the end of the semester, I will go out of my way to help in any way I can, including giving an incomplete, supposing that you have otherwise kept up with the assignments, attended class regularly, and finished a majority of the course.  Aside from the grade reduction, missing classes will hinder your ability to do the assignments properly and promptly.  Likewise, even though there will be no penalty for lateness, it can have several undesirable consequences: you may miss crucial information (such as the extension of a deadline) often covered in the first ten minutes of class and, of course, you will likely distract other students and myself while entering the room.  If you are late, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have not been marked absent.  If you are absent from class, contact another student who can fill you in on missed work before contacting me.  Above all, make sure to withdraw from the course if you find that you cannot attend class regularly or fall too far behind in the reading. 



Section One — The Global Eighteenth Century

Monday, January 5: Introduction to the Period / Homework: Review the syllabus and write down any questions that you have; Get books; Read “The Restoration and Eighteenth Century” in the Norton Anthology (NA), pgs. 2045-53; Read another introduction also entitled “The Restoration and Eighteenth Century,” Part I, from the Longman Anthology (905-915) in the Electronic Reserves (ER) at (18c); Read Jonathan Swift, “Lady’s Dressing Room” (NA 2584-88)  [22 pgs.]


Wednesday, January 7: Overview of Enlightenment, Eighteenth Century, & Class Objectives / Homework: Email to be added onto the class listerv; Read “The Restoration and Eighteenth Century” in the Norton Anthology (NA 2053-68); Finish “The Restoration and Eighteenth Century” from the Longman Anthology (ER 915-24)  [24 pgs.]


Friday, January 9: Discuss Introductions, Swift / Homework: Read Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Introductory Material, Chapter 1-2 & 5-6 of Part I, and Chapter 1 of Part II (NA 2298-99, 2329-46, 2354-64, 2372-80)  [37 pgs.]


Monday, January 12: Discuss Swift  / Homework: Read Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 2-5, & 8 of Part II, Chapter 1 of Part III (NA 2380-98, 2407-14)  [25 pgs.]


Wednesday, January 14: Discuss Swift  / Homework: Read Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 2 of Part III, Chapter 1-6 of Part IV (NA 2414-19, 2428-49)  [26 pgs.]


Friday, January 16: Discuss Swift / Homework: Read Edward Said, “Imaginative Geography and Its Representations,” Orientalism (ER, 4 pgs.); Finish Gulliver’s Travels, Chapter 7-12 of Part IV (NA 2449-73)  [30 pgs.]


Monday, January 19:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Wednesday, January 21: Discuss Swift, Said, & Epistolary Anthropology / Homework: Read Richard Steele, “Inkle and Yarico,” Spectator #11 (ER 47-51); Joseph Addison, “The Royal Exchange,” Spectator #69 (ER, 4 pgs.); Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative (NA 12-21)  [17 pgs.]


Friday, January 23: Discuss Coffee-House Capitalism, Sympathy Tragic & Transcontinental / Homework: Read Aphra Behn, The Rover, Introduction (9-42); Write a Response on Swift that incorporates Said and one of the primary texts (Montagu, Steele, Addison, or Equiano), sending it in plain text to the listserv email address at; For confirmation or to see responses, visit the listerv archives at; If you have any difficulty, either email your response to me or turn in a hard copy on Monday [33 pgs.]


Monday, January 26: Discuss the Global Eighteenth Century in Conclusion (Group Work) / Homework: Read Aphra Behn, The Rover, Prologue and Act I (55-81); Ann Bermingham, “The Picturesque and Ready-to-Wear Femininity”(ER 81-82, 90-99) [35 pgs.]


Section Two — Inventions, Ideologies: Sexuality and Gender

Wednesday, January 28: Discuss Restoration Theatre, Bermingham / Homework: Read Behn, The Rover, Act II-III.ii (82-116) [34 pgs.]


Friday, January 30: Discuss Behn / Homework:  Read Behn, The Rover, Act III.iii-IV.iv (116-154) [37 pgs.]


Monday, February 2: Discuss Behn / Homework:  Finish Behn, The Rover, Act IV.iii-V (155-189) [34 pgs.]


Wednesday, February 4: Discuss Behn, Group Work / Read Eliza Haywood, Fantomina (ER, 16 pgs.) [24 pgs.]


Friday, February 6: Discuss Amatory Fiction, Female Masquerade, & the “Rise” of the Novel / Homework: Read Selections from Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (ER 9-12), Michel Foucault, “We ‘Other’ Victorians” (ER 3-13); Write a response on Behn and Haywood that incorporates Foucault and post to the listserv [13 pgs.]


Monday, February 9: Discuss Goldsmith, Foucault / Homework:  Read Samuel Richardson, Pamela (ER 82-87, 198-205, 353) and Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews, including the relevant endnotes (ER 7-16, 256-62)  [29 pgs.]


Wednesday, February 11:  Discuss “Why the Story of the Origin of the (English) Novel is an American Romance (If Not the Great American Novel)” (from Homer Brown, Cultural Institutions of the Novel) / Homework:  Read Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock, “Letter to Mrs. Arabella Fermor” & Canto 1-5 (NA 2505-7, 2525-44) [21 pgs.]


Friday, February 13: Discuss Pope, Sexualities Restoration & Neoclassical  / Homework:  Re-Read Pope, Rape of the Lock; Write a response on Pope and post to the listserv  [21 pgs.]


Monday, February 16: Discuss Pope, Sexualities Amazon & African  / Homework: Review Guidelines on the Midterm Exam (Class Handout, but it will be in the ER afterwards)


Wednesday, February 18: Discuss Eighteenth-Century Sexuality and Gender in Conclusion / Homework: Review for Midterm (Critical Responses/Essay Question)


Friday, February 20: Midterm Exam / Homework: Review William Hogarth’s Marriage A-la-Mode (NA 2652-59); Read Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (ER 1-12); Oliver Goldsmith, “Deserted Village” (NA 2857-67); Begin thinking about a topic for the research essay; See Guidelines on the Research Essay [29 pgs.]


Monday, February 23 — Friday, February 27: Winter Recess 


Section Three — The Eighteenth-Century Underworld: Rogues, Rogue Economies, and the Gothic 

Monday, March 1:  Watch film on Hogarth, Discuss Eighteenth-Century Satire / Homework: Finish Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (ER 60-7, 120-26); Re-read Goldsmith, “Deserted Village” (NA 2857-67) [23 pgs.]


Wednesday, March 3: Discuss Eighteenth-Century Sentimentalism  / Homework: Read “Aesthetic and Intellectual Backgrounds,” Appendix C of The Castle of Otranto (306-27) [21 pgs.]


Friday, March 5: Discuss Gay and Goldsmith in Continuation / Homework: Read Horace Walpole, Castle of Otranto, paying especial attention to the prefaces (11-25, 59-93) [48 pgs.]


Monday, March 8 Discuss the Gothic Revival / Homework: Read Walpole, Castle of Otranto, Chapter II-III (94-131) [37 pgs.]


Wednesday, March 10:  Discuss Walpole / Homework:  Finish Walpole, Castle of Otranto, Chapter IV-V (132-65); Read selections from Appendix B (288-93) [38 pgs.]


Friday, March 12:  Discuss Walpole; Group Work  / Homework: Read Matthew Lewis, The Monk, Introduction, Chapter I (9-26, 33-64) [48 pgs.]


Monday, March 15:  Discuss Gothic Sensationalism / Homework:  Read Matthew Lewis, The Monk (64-104) [40 pgs.]


Wednesday, March 17:  Discuss Lewis / Homework:  Read Lewis, The Monk (104-44)  [40 pgs.]


Friday, March 19:  Discuss Lewis / Homework:  Read Lewis, The Monk (145-191)  [46 pgs.]


Monday, March 22: Discuss Lewis; Group Work / Homework:  Read Lewis, The Monk (192-232)  [40 pgs.]


Wednesday, March 24: This classes will meet in Halle Library for a Research Demonstration  / Homework:  Read Lewis, The Monk (233-273)  [40 pgs.]


Friday, March 26: CLASS CANCELLED FOR CONFERENCE  / Homework:  Read Lewis, The Monk (274-320)  [46 pgs.]


Section Four — Retrofitting: Counter-Culture, Counter-Revolution, and the Surfeit of Conformity

Monday, March 29:  Discuss Lewis / Homework:  Finish Lewis, The Monk (321-363) [42 pgs.]


Wednesday, March 31:  Discuss Lewis  / Homework: Read Selections from appendixes A, B, and C of The Monk (365-69 [A], 384-93 [B], 394-411, 415-17 [C]); Write a response on Lewis incorporating a source from each of the appendixes (you can also use those that are not required reading) and post to listserv  [32 pgs.]


Friday, April 2:  Discuss Lewis in Context  / Homework:  Read Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (7-24, 29-60) [48 pgs.]


Monday, April 5: Discuss Austen  / Homework:  Read Austen’s Northanger Abbey (60-104) and “Appendix D: Catherine Morland’s Reading Material” (251-52) [44 pgs.]


Wednesday, April 7:  Discuss Austen  / Homework:  Read Austen’s Northanger Abbey (104-148) and “Appendix C: Examples of Jane Austen’s Reading” (245-50); Finish Research Proposal, Due Monday, April 12; See “Guidelines on the Research Essay” [] and “List of Recommended Databases for Literature” [] [45 pgs.]


Friday, April 9 — Spring Recess


Monday, April 12:  Discuss Austen; Group Work / Homework:  Read Austen’s Northanger Abbey (148-196) [47 pgs.]


Wednesday, April 14:  Discuss Austen / Homework:  Finish Austen’s Northanger Abbey; Write a response on Austen and post to the listserv [44 pgs.] 


Friday, April 16: Discuss Retrofitting the Eighteenth Century in Conclusion / Homework:  Finish Final Exam (Take-Home Essay Question on Walpole, Lewis, and Austen, Due April 19); Work on Research Essay (6-8 pages, Due April 26).


Monday, April 19 (9:30 - 11:00 AM):  Discuss Research Essays; Restoration and Eighteenth Century in Review.


Monday, April 26 (12:00 PM): Research Essay Due.  Drop it in my mailbox in the English Dept., 612 Pray Harrold (the office will be closed, but you can approach the mailboxes from the back hallway) or slide it under my office door, 603G Pray Harrold.  Anything handed in after 12:00 PM sharp will not be given any credit.  Also leave a self-addressed, stamped manila envelope if you want commentary on your essay.