online syllabus:


electronic reserves:
(password 315)

class handouts:


* groups * homework * essay *

* course schedule *

Literature 315:

Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century

British Literature, 1660-1800

Winter 2012

Dr. Abby Coykendall

abbcoy at

Pray-Harrold Hall 318

Tuesday & Thursday 5:00 -6:15  PM

Registration # 27628

Phone: 734-487-0954

Office: Pray-Harrold Hall 603J

Office Hours: TTh 3:00-4:15, 6:15-6:45;
W 4:25-5:45, 9:10-9:30

~ or email for an appointment ~

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 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 seventeenth-century, or Restoration, to the late eighteenth-century French Revolution, the period’s spectacular fin de siècle 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.

Course Objectives:

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.

Required Texts:

The textbook is available at Ned’s (; 483-6400; 707 W. Cross St.), as well as on 2-hour reserve at the Halle library circulation desk (click this link for availability).  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 #

The other texts can be accessed online and then printed from any campus computer from the Electronic Reserves (ER):, password 315. **Make sure to bring copies of all of the texts that we are covering to class, whether from the anthology or the ER.  You will need everything on hand during class time.

Course Itinerary:


Section One:

The Global Eighteenth Century (Enlightenment & Colonial Contact)

Main Assignments:

Reading Responses

Research Report

Essay Exam One

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

Theorists: Ella Shohat (“Tropes of Empire”)

Edward Said (“Imagined Geography”)

Section Two:

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

Main Assignments:

Reading Responses

Research Essay

Essay Exam Two

Fantomina,  Turkish Embassy Letters, Marriage à la Mode, Restoration Poetry (Behn, Rochester), “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” “Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat,” “The Rape of the Lock”

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.htm) handout for information about assignments, including ways to augment your grade through extra credit if you fall behind. *Note: all course hyperlinks begin with the same sequence:

Instructor Availability:

I will be delighted to discuss any course-related questions, interests, or concerns in person after class during my office hours, as well as at any time through email (abbcoy at  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 that I alone can answer so that I can give the more pressing inquiries of the other students the attention that they deserve.  If, for example, you are unsure about a due date, consult the syllabus (/w12.htm), the handouts (/hand.htm#l315), or the peers in your group (/ga.htm), and then email me only if the confusion persists.  The first time that you visit my office hours in person with a course-related inquiry, such as to get guidance on 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 exam Question tying together all section materials)

February 24


Five-Page Research Essay Stemming from Groupwork Project (see the Collaborative Groupwork Project handout)

April 7


Examination #2: The Private Sphere (Self-designed essay exam question tying together all section materials)

April 14


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 will always 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 absences for illnesses, car accidents, or other emergencies that truly prevent you from coming to class and make sure not to exhaust your allowable absences 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.  Any changes to the Schedule (/scd.htm) will be sent to the class as a whole by email.  Besides the exams, which must be taken on the day scheduled, all missed homework is simply due on your return, though some homework can only be made up through extra credit as indicated on the schedule. 


The most essential information—due dates, assignment instructions, clarification of outstanding issues—is typically given at the beginning of class, so it is essential to come on time.  Leave early just in case you encounter any problems along the way (traffic jams, late busses, no parking).  Arriving well into the period or exiting well before its conclusion each count as half an absence.  If you come 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 occasionally, bring a doctor’s note confirming as such; if not, reserve all personal business for after class. 

Disruptive exits can be both mental and physical; students unprepared to discuss the texts for the day may 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.

Grading Scale:





























Academic Resources & Campus Safety:

The University Writing Center (115 Halle Library) offers one-to-one writing consulting. Students can make appointments or drop in from 9AM to 6PM Mondays through Thursdays and from 11AM to 4PM on Fridays.  Students should bring a draft of what they’re working on and their assignment.  The Academic Projects Center (116 Halle Library) offers one-to-one, drop-in consulting for students on writing, research, or technology-related issues from 11-5 Monday-Thursday. 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.

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, cheating on exams, or recycling your own essays written for other classes for double credit are all forms of academic dishonesty.  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 thus must acknowledge when you make use of the concepts and/or expressions of other people without any exception under any circumstance, whether it be by drawing on Wikipedia for mundane (and quite possibly specious) information or 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”).  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.

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


[Syllabus last modified January 8, 2012]