Welcome to English 353!

Hello, and welcome to another semester of English 353 (Later Victorian Literature) at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I haven’t taught this course (or any other Victorian literature course) in a year, which explains the lack of activity on this blog. In addition to my first-year essay composition courses, I’ve been teaching an online course on the introduction to the novel, a third-year course in literary and critical theory focusing on the Gothic, and a fourth-year seminar on literature and speech dysfluencies. I’m excited to get back to the Victorians, and especially the decades from the 1860s to the 1890s.

You can find our weekly course reading schedule at the bottom of the post, as well as in the official course outline. Please check in on this blog on a regular basis because I will be posting information related to course lectures, discussions, and assignments. This blog does not replace the official course outline and all assignment instructions, but it will be helpful for students in the course. Additionally, each of you will be writing one blog post this semester, so you will be responsible for tracking and replying to comments on your post throughout the semester.

I’m also in the process of revamping the possibilities for your final research essay of the semester. One potential option will be to post your final essay on the course blog. This isn’t finalized yet, but I’m trying my very best to think of ways to make student work for my courses accessible to an audience vaster than your solitary instructor. Stay tuned for more on this!

I’m looking forward to discussing all things Victorian with you this semester. Our first meeting of the semester is this Thursday, January 4th, 2017.

Here are the weekly readings for the semester, which may change slightly depending on student interests and/or course progression:

Week 1: (Jan 4): Course introduction. Realism’s ghosts. Readings: passage from Charles Dickens’s Hard Times (distributed/posted in class).

Week 2 (Jan 9, 11): Victorian aestheticism’s formal intimacies. Readings (accessible through Blackboard and course blog): Christina Rossetti, “Echo”; “Remember”; “My Dream”; “Winter: My Secret”; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “A Sonnet”; “The Kiss”; “Nuptial Sleep”; “Silent Noon”; “A Superscription”; “A Venetian Pastoral.”

Week 3 (Jan 16, 18): Victorian sensations, mobilizations, and passings. Readings: Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret; selections from H.L. Mansel’s “Sensation Novels” (accessible at http://blog.catherinepope.co.uk/teaching/lady-audleys-secret/h-l-mansel-sensation-novels/).

Week 4 (Jan 23, 25): Madness, insanity, and gender in the nervous/railway system. Readings: Lady Audley’s Secret continued.

Week 5 (Jan 30, Feb 1): Aestheticism and the sensuous. Readings (accessible through Blackboard and course blog): Walter Pater, “Preface” and “Conclusion” to Studies in the History of the Renaissance; Thomas Plowman, “The Aesthetes: The Story of a Nineteenth-Century Cult.”

Week 6 (Feb 6, 8): Decadence, ruin, and oblivion. Readings (accessible through Blackboard and course blog): Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “The Triumph of Time.”  

Week 7 (Feb 13, 15): Marketing decadence. Readings: Richard Le Gallienne, “The Boom in Yellow” (accessible through Blackboard and course blog); selections (to be determined) from the Yellow Book accessed through The Yellow Nineties Online (http://www.1890s.ca/).

Week 8 (Feb 20, 22): Reading Break. No classes. Readings: none.

Week 9 (Feb 27, Mar 1): the Aesthete/Dandy at the fin de siècle.  Readings: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Week 10 (Mar 6, 8): Degeneration and aesthetic representation. Readings: The Picture of Dorian Gray continued.

Week 11 (Mar 13, 15): Uncanny voices. Readings (accessible through Blackboard and course blog): Vernon Lee, “A Wicked Voice”; Rudyard Kipling, “Wireless”; Richard Marsh, “The Adventure of the Phonograph.”

Week 12 (Mar 20, 22): Gothic penetrations of the body. Readings: Richard Marsh, The Beetle.

Week 13 (Mar 27, 29): Orientalism and imperialist racism. Readings: The Beetle continued; Rudyard Kipling, “The Mark of the Beast” (accessible through Blackboard and course blog).

Week 14 (Apr 3, 5): Queer intimacies and longings. Readings (accessible through Blackboard and the course blog): Amy Levy, “To Lallie”; “To Vernon Lee”; “Sinfonia Eroica (to Sylvia); “To Sylvia”; “In the Mile End Road”; “At a Dinner Party”; Michael Field, “A Palimpsest”; “A Girl”; “Prologue”; “Lovers”; “Your Rose is Dead.”


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