English Literature, 1745-1800
English 560, Spring 1999
Go directly to:
Office: (973) 353-5279x516; 516 Hill Hall. Hours: Monday and Wednesday,
11:30-12:30, and by appointment (appointments are always good).
Home: (609) 750-1263 (before 11 p.m.!).
(the best way to reach me).
English 560 involves the following responsibilities on your part:
- Written Assignments: There will be two analytical
papers, the first of eight to ten pages, the second either
a new paper of eight to ten pages, or an expansion
of your first paper to fifteen to twenty pages.
- Annotated Bibliographies: Each student will prepare an
annotated bibliography on one day's reading or another apropos
critical or historical topic. Bibliographies will be made
available on the World Wide Web.
- In-Class Reports: You'll be expected to give a brief
presentation on the reading the same day you present your
annotated bibliography. Details are below.
- Class Participation: Regular and active class
participation (including doing the readings) is essential, and
counts for a large part of your grade. Class participation
obviously includes class attendance; if you're not there, you're
- E-Mail Participation: All students will be
required to have an E-mail account by the end of the
second week of classes; E-mail participation will count
toward the class participation grade, and some essential
information will be available only electronically. I'll
provide any computing help you need.
Eight books -- Johnson's Rasselas (Oxford), Boswell's
Life of Johnson (Oxford), Walpole's Castle of
Otranto (Oxford), Sheridan's School for Scandal
(Dover), Sterne's Tristram Shandy (Oxford), Burney's
Evelina, Equiano's Narrative, and Blake's Songs
of Innocence and Experience (Dover) -- are available from
Newark Bookstore in Bradley Hall. The remainder of the
readings are available in a photocopy pack from Affordable Copies
(68 Halsey St.); many are also on reserve in Dana Library and
Reports and Annotated Bibliographies
Each student will be particularly responsible for the readings on
one day of the semester, producing and distributing (on paper or
by E-mail) a short annotated bibliography of relevant criticism
and then beginning class with an oral report of between fifteen
and twenty minutes. The report should begin with a very
brief discussion of the annotated bibliography the student
has prepared, giving a quick overview of the major scholarship on
the topic. Thereafter, the report's job is to start the day's
discussion; the topic is anything relevant to the day's reading
material. Feel free to read a short (two-page-ish) prepared
report, to speak from notes, or to extemporize -- whatever makes
you comfortable -- but be both informative and
engaging. A good report will raise as many fruitful
questions as possible and get discussion rolling. The best
way to start a discussion is to have something specific to
say about a broad topic. These are not research projects;
you needn't do any outside reading. If you feel some outside
reading will improve your ability to start conversation, feel
free. Anything else that will help -- handouts, short readings
for the rest of the class -- is welcome and encouraged.
This class has a mailing list called
email@example.com; all students are required to have
an E-mail account by the send of the second week of classes and
to participate in the discussions on the list. Although I have
the greatest sympathy for those suffering from technological
nightmares, don't expect to use computer problems as an excuse
for not doing the reading or writing. If you have a computer
problem, contact me as soon as possible.
Final grades will be based on the following:
- 60%, The two papers (the final paper will be weighted more
- 15%, The in-class report and annotated bibliography
- 25%, Class participation (including E-mail participation)
Schedule of Class Meetings
- Wed., 20 Jan.
- Introduction (class business, &c.).
- Wed., 27 Jan.
- Samuel Johnson, The
Vanity of Human Wishes, Ramblers 12,
James Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 19-36,
Northrop Frye, "Towards Defining an Age of Sensibility."
- Wed., 3 Feb.
- Samuel Johnson, Rasselas
4; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 166-77,
- Wed., 10 Feb.
- Thomas Gray, Elegy
Written in a Country Churchyard and "Ode
on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"; William Collins, "Ode
to Evening" and "Ode
on the Poetical Character"; James Boswell, The Life of
Samuel Johnson, pp.
- Wed., 17 Feb.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The
Deserted Village; Charlotte Smith, selections from The
Emigrants; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel
- Wed., 24 Feb.
- David Hume, selections from A Treatise of Human
Nature; Edmund Burke, selections from Philosophical
Enquiry into the Sublime and the Beautiful; Horace Walpole,
Castle of Otranto; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel
- Wed., 3 March
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal;
James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp.
- Wed., 10 March
- Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, pp. 1-193 (vols.
1-3); James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 379-89,
FIRST PAPER DUE (eight to ten pages).
- Wed., 24 March
- No Class.
- Wed., 31 March
- Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, pp. 195-539 (vols.
4-9); James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 344-53,
- Wed., 7 April
- Frances Burney, Evelina,
pp. 1-225 (through vol. 2, letter 19); James Boswell, The Life
of Samuel Johnson, pp. 764-76,
- Wed., 14 April
- Frances Burney, Evelina,
pp. 225-323; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson,
- Wed., 21 April
- Olaudah Equiano, Narrative; James Boswell, The Life
of Samuel Johnson, pp. 579-82,
- Wed., 28 April
- Christopher Smart, selections from Jubilate
Agno; William Cowper, selections from The
Task; William Blake, Songs
of Innocence and Experience; James Boswell, The Life
of Samuel Johnson, pp. 105-107,
SECOND PAPER DUE (either a new paper of eight to
ten pages, or an expansion of your first paper to fifteen to