First Day of Class: Friday, September 3
The nineteenth century saw an increasingly interconnected global economy based in the often involuntary movement of people and objects. This module examines Victorian literature in the context of empire and migration. How and why did people move around the world, and what did they write about these experiences? In what ways did the global circulation of people and goods affect the development of literary, cultural, and artistic forms? How might we unsettle conceptions of the ‘Victorian’? Reading materials range from literary texts to popular and material culture, including two longer works: The Moonstone and The History of Mary Prince.
Throughout the course, students will learn to do the following:
- Analyse Victorian perspectives on imperialism and the central tensions reflected in Victorian writing.
- Develop critical reading skills that will be practiced and executed through analysis, discussion, and argument.
- Understand and use theoretical approaches involving gender, sexuality, race, and postcolonial theory.
- Learn to analyse and write about literature as well as popular and material culture of the nineteenth century.
There will be three contact hours per week: a lecture/seminar on Fridays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. and a tutorial from 4:30 to 5:20 p.m. Lecture/seminar will take place every week, but tutorials will happen less frequently. Tutorials will include writing workshops and other activities to prepare students for assignments. The course will also feature online collaborative activities with students at the University of Manchester.
Much of the class will be run as a seminar featuring student-centered discussions of each week’s assigned reading. Before each class session, students will post questions on Moodle to help generate discussion.
Timed Take-Home Essay on Findens’ Tableaux: 25%
Material Culture Assignment (podcast/museum guide): 30%
Final Essay: 35%
Participation/Weekly Discussion Questions: 10%
TEXTS FOR PURCHASE:
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone, Oxford World’s Classics, ISBN: 978-0198819394
All other assigned materials will be available on COVE Collective or Moodle. Other readings will include (but are not limited to) Charles Dickens, Toru Dutt, John Stuart Mill, Olive Schreiner, and Israel Zangwill, as well as The History of Mary Prince and excerpts from the Victorian gift annual Findens’ Tableaux.