EN 2490: Rethinking Modern British Literature, 1660-1945

Course Schedule, Spring 2022

Weeks 1-16 of Class

Week 1

Tuesday, January 18: Syllabus review and class introductions. No Posts due this week.

Thursday, January 20: Discussion on intersectional approaches to oppression and identity: Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED talk; also read Wordsworth’s “The Idiot Boy” (audio version available at Librivox, track 9).

Week 2

Tuesday, January 25: Weekly Assignments begin today! Read act 1 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet [content notice (hereafter “cn”): ableism, depression, misogyny, murder, suicide]; Read: Charlotte Smith,”Sonnet: On Being Cautioned Against Walking on an Headland Overlooking the Sea, BecauseIt Was Frequented by a Lunatic” (1783)

  • For Collab work on Hamlet:

Ian Holm, 1990, To thine own self be true (0:45-2:15)

Bill Murray, 2000, To thine own self be true (2:42)

Oliver Ford Davies, 2009, To thine own self be true (2:45-4:30)

Thursday, January 27: acts 2-3 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Read William Blake, “The Tyger” (1794); Read Barker and Murray’s “Introduction: On Reading Disability in Literature”

Mel Gibson, 1990, To be or not to be (3:46)

Ethan Hawke, 2000, To be or not to be (2:49)

David Tennant, 2009, To be or not to be (3:02)

Week 3

Tuesday, February 1: act 4 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Read pdf of Mary Robinson‘s “The Maniac,” 602-605; Read Jay Dolmage’s “An Archive and Anatomy of Disability Myths” (book);

Helena Bonham Carter, 1990, Ophelia’s Act 4 Madness, (3:30)

Julia Stiles, 2000, Ophelia’s Act 4 Madness (1:01)

  • Collab on posted Questions

Thursday, February 3: act 5 of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Read William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (1807/1815); Read Laurie Block’s “Stereotypes About People With Disabilities”;

Week 4

Tuesday, February 8: Read roughly the first fourth (TBD) of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein before class. [cn: ableism, corpses, murder]; Read John Keats, “On Seeing the Elgin Marbles” (1817); Read “Keywords, Disability”

Thursday, February 10: Read roughly the second fourth (TBD) of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein before class; Read Percy Shelley, “Ozymandias” (1818); read “Keywords, Human” 

Looking for ideas for your First Project? Check out these sample Unessays from the Ellen Reeder, PSU English’s program blog:

https://english.plymouthcreate.net/plymouth-state-university/student-work-at-psu-finding-hope-in-2020/

Week 5

Tuesday, February 15: Read roughly the third fourth (TBD) of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein before class; Read Anna Letitia Barbauld, “Life” (1825)

Thursday, February 17: Finish reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein before class; Read Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Mariana” (1830).

Week 6

Tuesday, February 22: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, ch 1-10 [cn: ableism, child abuse, death, domestic violence, misogyny]; Emily Brontë, “I Am the Only Being Whose Doom” (1846)

Thursday, Feb 24: No synchronous class meeting! Instead, book and attend a one-on-one Teams Conference for our First Unessay Project. No posts due today.

Week 7

Tuesday, March 1: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, ch 11-20; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Sonnets from the Portuguese 22” (1850)

First Unessay Projects due by the end of the day on Wednesday, March 2.

Thursday, March 3: Project Presentations; reflecting on the first half of the semester.

Week 8

Spring Break!

Week 9

Tuesday, March 15: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, ch 21-25; Christina Rossetti, “After Death” (1862);

  • Collab on Disability as Simile or Metaphor 

Thursday, March 17: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, ch 26-30; Check out the Wikipedia entry on Gilbert and Gubar’s work.

Week 10

Tuesday, March 22: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, ch 31-34; Gerard Manly Hopkins, “Carrion Comfort” (1889/1919)

Thursday, March 24: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, ch 35-38; William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (1890)

Week 11

Tuesday, March 29: In class, watch Thorold Dickinson‘s 1940 film Gaslight, an adaptation of Patrick Hamilton‘s 1938 play Gas Light; be sure to take notes, as Questions posts can be published after class on the film; discuss Gaslight with remaining class time.

Thursday, March 31: Read T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” (1915); finish discussing Gaslight in class. Questions posts for today may be on Eliot or Gaslight.

Week 12

Tuesday, April 5: Read Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, 1-40 (TBD) [cn: ableism, domestic violence, racism and racist language, rape, suicide]; Yeats, “Second Coming,” (1920).

Thursday, April 7: Read Rhys 41-80. No synchronous class. I’ll be traveling to the Shakespeare Association of America conference this week.

Asynch Collab: TBA

Week 13

Tuesday, April 12: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, 81-120; W. H. Auden, “September 1, 1939” (1940).

Tuesday, April 14: Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, 121-171; Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night” (1947).

Week 14

Tuesday, April 19: Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, ch 1-9, p 1-104; Virginia Woolf, “The Death of the Moth” (1942)

Thursday, April 21: Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, ch 10-19, p 105-208; Sylvia Plath, “Ella Mason and her Eleven Cats” pp. 233-4 (1956)

Week 15

Tuesday, April 26: Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, ch 20-27, p 209-301; Seamus Heaney on “bog bodies“, “Bog Queen” (scroll down!) from North (1975).

Thursday, April 28: No synchronous class meetings! Instead, book and attend a one-on-one Conference and a small group Peer Review for our Second Unessay Projects. No Posts due today.

Second Unessay Projects due by the end of the day on TBA.

Finals, Week 16

Our final exam period will be Tuesday, May 3, 11:00 – 1:30 PM (TBD). We’ll be sharing our favorite projects from the semester and reflecting on the arc of the course. Individual presentations will be posted to WordPress instead of our usual Questions Posts.  This is our final class conversation reflecting on the semester. We’ll do one final Collab in class, and you may complete one Reflections post this week if you so choose.

Before class, select one of the below. Your post should include either 150-200 words of text or 1-2 minutes of audio, and should link back to the project being discussed or the PSU Habits of Mind page.

#1: Present via a new Weekly Post (can involve audio) your favorite project from the semester that you completed.

#2: Present via a new Weekly Post (can involve audio) your fav project someone ELSE completed this semester

#3: In a new weekly Post, Reflect on the PSU Habit of Mind “Integrated Perspective” and what you’ve learned on that front this semester: what have you learned from class readings, discussions, and assignments about “ the recognition that individual beliefs, ideas, and values are influenced by personal experience as well as multiple contextual factors—cultural, historical political, etc.”?

During our Final Exam period, we’ll go around and bring up each person’s post in turn. You can choose to either talk through your post live via Zoom, or to play your pre-recorded video.

The deadline for all work and revisions is the of the day on Thursday, May 5 (11:59 PM).