* * * * * * * * S Y L L A B U S * * * * * * * *
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September 7: Introductory Lecture: Histories/Contexts of Romantic Revolution & Revolt
September 12 and 14: A Legacy of Slavery; The Rise of the Woman Writer
– Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave (1688) and Anne Finch, “The Introduction” (1689?) [Course Packet]
DUE September 12 – Essay 1: Readers of Oroonoko have long argued about whether the text appeals to its reader through REASON or through EMOTION/FEELING. What effect(s) does Behn’s Oroonoko have on you? In 2 pages (no more, no less), choose to focus either on its appeal to your reason or to your emotion/feelings and make a case for HOW either the text impresses the one or the other upon you as its reader. Cite at least two passages to help you support your case and close-read those passages briefly to define your position. I will be calling on you to summarize your response orally for the benefit of your classmates and to stimulate discussion and debate. Be prepared. Remember: All papers submitted to me must be properly formatted according to MLA standards (including basic paper format; in-text citations and block quotes; and the Works Cited page.)
September 19: The Revolution Controversy (I)
– Clive Emsley, “Ideas” (Burke and Paine / Radical Variation / Loyalist Responses) and “Politics” (Whigs and Others / Radicals and Repression / Loyalism and Xenophobia / The Irish Experience) [Emsley text]
– Helen Maria Williams, Letters Written in France [Longman Anthology]; “To Sensibility”; “The Bastille, A Vision” [Course Packet]
September 21: The Revolution Controversy (II)
– Edmund Burke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France [Longman Anthology]
September 26 and September 28:
– Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Men
– Thomas Paine, from The Rights of Man
– William Godwin, from Enquiry Concerning Political Justice [All Readings in Longman Anthology]
DUE – September 26 – Essay 2: What effect(s) do the works of Burke, Paine, Godwin, and Wollstonecraft have on you? In 2 pages (no more, no less), consider the relationship between Burke’s piece and ONE of the other three readings. Cite at least two examples to support the relationship(s) you discern (similarities and/or differences) between the two texts and close-read those passages briefly to define your position. I will be calling on you to summarize your response orally the benefit of your classmates and to stimulate discussion and debate. Be prepared. Make sure your essay is properly formatted according to MLA standards.
October 3 & 5: Violence and/as Radical Emotion (I)
– Elizabeth Inchbald, The Massacre (1792; 1833) [Course Packet]
October 10 & 12: Bondage and Freedom
For October 10: M. Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman [Longman Anthology]
For October 12: W. Blake, Visions of the Daughters of Albion [Longman Anthology]
October 17 & 19: History vs. Imagination
For October 17: Read William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805/1850), Books IX-XIII [Longman Anthology]
For October 19: Read Mary Jacobus, “Geometric Science and Romantic History: Wordsworth, Newton, and the Slave Trade” AND Gayatri Spivak, “Sex and History in The Prelude: Books Nine to Thirteen” [Course Packet]
October 24 & 26: The Abolition Controversy (I)
For October 24:
– Anna Letitia Barbauld, “Epistle to William Wilberforce” (1791) [Course Packet]
– William Wilberforce, from “A Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade” (1807) [Course Packet]
– Thomas Clarkson, from The History of the Rise, Progress, Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament (1808) [Longman Anthology]
– View Color Plate 5: J.M.W. Turner, Slavers Throwing the Dead and Dying Overboard, Typhoon Coming On, 1840 [Longman Anthology]
For October 26:
– Coleridge, “Essay on the Slave Trade” (1795/1796) [Course Packet]
– Southey, Poems on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade; “The Sailor, Who Had Served in the Slave Trade” [Longman Anthology]
October 31 & November 2: Abolition Controversy (II)
– Ann Yearsley, from “A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave-Trade” (1788) [Longman Anthology]
– Hannah More, “Slavery, A Poem” (date); “The Sorrows of Yamba” (1795)[Longman Anthology]
– Amelia Opie, “The Black Man’s Lament; or, How to Make Sugar” (1826) [Course Packet]
DUE November 2 – Essay 3: How do these poems DIFFER? In 2 pages (no more, no less), choose to focus on TWO of these three poems and cite at least two examples (one from each poem) to support your case about the differences between them (and the effects of those differences). Close-read those passages briefly to define your position. I will be calling on you to summarize your response orally the benefit of your classmates and to stimulate discussion and debate. Be prepared. Make sure your essay is properly formatted according to MLA standards.
November 7 (cancelled for Election Day) & 9: The Slave Narrative (I)
– Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative [Longman Anthology]
– Sonia Hofkosh, “Tradition and The Interesting Narrative” [Course Packet]
– Srinivas Aravamudan, “Equiano and the Politics of Literacy” from Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804 [Course Packet]
November 14 & 16 & 21: The Slave Narrative (II)
For November 14: Re-Read
– Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative
– Sonia Hofkosh, “Tradition and The Interesting Narrative”
– Srinivas Aravamudan, “Equiano and the Politics of Literacy” from Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804
For November 16 & 21: Read
– Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave, Related by Herself [Longman Anthology]
November 28 & 30: Revolting (I)
– C.L.R. James, from Black Jacobins [Course Packet]
– Wordsworth, “To Toussaint L’Ouverture” [Longman Anthology]
– Srinivas Aravamudan, “Tropicalizing the Enlightenment” from Tropicopolitans: Colonialism and Agency, 1688-1804 [Longman Anthology]
December 5 and 7: Revolting (II)
– Amelia Opie, Adeline Mowbray [Novel]
DUE December 7 – Essay 4: How does Adeline Mowbray connect with other texts we have read this semester? In 4 pages (no more, no less), discuss the relationship of this novel to two other texts we have read this semester. Cite at least two examples (one from each text you choose) to support your case and close-read those passages briefly to define your position. I will be calling on you to summarize your response orally the benefit of your classmates and to stimulate discussion and debate. Be prepared. Make sure your essay is properly formatted according to MLA standards.
December 14: Take-Home Final Examination due in my box by 3pm in the English Department
Note: When one text (or group of texts) is listed under multiple dates, then you must assume that the text should be fully read by the earliest date listed; you are, of course, welcome to re-read the text(s) for subsequent class meetings and are indeed encouraged to do so. [ BACK ]
Participation – 20%
Participation and attendance at class meetings. This class requires active participation. Within the classroom, active participation involves both listening and engagement with what your classmates or I am saying, as well as contributing to the conversation yourself. All of our time in class is important, and in order to make that time as productive and valuable as possible, all of you need to be present at class meetings on time. Because your presence is significant to a productive and valuable group dynamic, you are, of course, encouraged to attend all class meetings. Please keep in mind that more than two absences are unacceptable and will reflect negatively upon your overall course grade; more than 6 absences will result in automatic failure of the course.
Reading and responding to assigned texts. You are responsible for coming to class prepared to discuss all of the assigned texts listed for each class meeting. Please keep in mind that many texts, particularly (though not exclusively) poems, may often require you to read them two and even three times before you reach a working grasp of their arguments and formal complexities. I will, from time to time, assign informal homework assignments to help you interact with a text or set of texts effectively. It will be your responsibility, and tied to your participation grade, to complete these assignments. There will be times when I will randomly choose to ask you about a given text, and though there is no “right” answer in such a situation, you must be prepared to answer as best you can. If it is obvious that you have not read the text, you may be asked to leave. Also please keep in mind that part of your work, part of the discipline, of reading historical literature is to be mindful of the English language itself. William Godwin, as one example, has a marvelously extensive vocabulary. Please have a pocket dictionary with you at all times so that you can expand your command of English, should you encounter words you do not recognize or cannot readily define, and please familiarize yourself with the Oxford English Dictionary, which is available online to all URI students.
Active email account and access to web browser. I will communicate with you via email throughout the term and encourage open discussion in that forum. I encourage you not only to respond to me but to voice your own questions/responses/concerns about texts via email postings, as well as to respond to one another. On the practical level, such participation will add to your in-class participation grades; on a critical level, it will enable us to enlarge the scope of our engagement with one another and the texts we will study. In order to use the Oxford English Dictionary and to access any readings I may send to you in an online format, you must have access to, and be comfortable with, a web browser.
Essay Writing – 65%
*Note: All formal essays must be submitted in order to pass this class.
Essay 1: 15% Essay 2: 15% Essay 3: 15% Essay 4: 20%
Please submit your formal essays on the date they are due. If you do not, you will be penalized for each day your essay is late; you will not receive commentary back from me (only a letter grade); and you will lose the privilege of revision, should that privilege be extended to the class at any time.
Examination – 15%
There will be a take-home final examination at the end of this course.
Disabilities in the English Classroom. If you have a documented disability, please contact me within the first week of the semester so that we may work out reasonable accommodations to support your success in this course. You will need to follow up your request for accommodation with an official letter from Disability Services, which can also offer you resources to help ensure your success in the college environment: Disability Services for Students, Office of Student Life, 330 Memorial Union, 874-2098.
Plagiarism. All submitted written work must be your own; if you consult other sources (such as class readings, articles or books from the library, articles on internet databases or web sites, etc.) these sources MUST be properly documented, or you will be charged with plagiarism and receive an F on the assignment and possibly in the course as well. The required books of this course provide you with all the resources necessary to avoid plagiarism, including a text that properly explains plagiarism to you AND two texts that will ensure that you learn how to cite sources properly via MLA format. Use these resources. They will keep you safe from all charges of plagiarism and will help you to be/come the responsible, honorable student whom URI – and the world at large – expects you to be. I will not accept papers that are not formatted according to MLA standards.
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