EN 2490 Syllabus

Welcome to Brit Lit II!

For the Spring 2022 semester, we’re meeting in 303 Rounds Hall from 12:00-1:40 PM on Tues and Thurs each week. You can also participate via Teams.

EN 2490  Rethinking Modern British Literature, 1660-1945 (4 Credits)

Professor Nic Helms (they/he pronouns) (nrhelms@plymouth.edu)

My office is Ellen Reed 14, and my office hours are Wednesdays from 12:00 – 4:00 PM.

I’ll be in touch daily this semester via email and MS Teams (an Office 365 app available in myPlymouth). You can send me an email or chat in either platform, or you can book an online appointment with me for any available time Mondays through Thursdays 9:00-5:00 PM.

I try to respond to all communications within twenty-four hours on weekdays. (I treat the weekends as days of rest for me and for you! If something breaks over a weekend, let me know, but don’t worry: it can always wait until the following Monday).

This course focuses on British literature from 1660 through the mid-20th century. It builds off of students’ preconceptions of modern British literature and analyses historical, national, and aesthetic constructions of the literary canon. Assignments require working creatively and critically with themes of disability, gender, and race. Not open to students who have earned credit for EN 3621. Springs. (TECO)

Syllabus Policies

Accessibility and Disability



Care and Campus Resources

Diversity and Inclusion

Habits of Mind

HyFlex Teaching

Land Acknowledgement

Student-Centered Teaching

Study Support


TECO: Technology in the Disciplines

In the modern world, technology has applications to every academic discipline, and educated people must have an understanding of technology that will allow them to adapt to rapid technological change.

Students take a three-credit Technology in the Disciplines (T) course specified as required for the major. This course may be taught within the major discipline or not. The course will help students examine the role of technology within their own discipline and within a larger societal and cultural context. The TECO course will provide students with hands-on experience using current technologies; with a broad understanding of the concepts underlying current technology; with an understanding of the potential ethical issues involved with the use of technology; and with an understanding of forces, based in the needs and values of our culture, that drive technological innovation.

(These Connections are 3 or 4 credit experiences taken as part of the major and hence add no credits to those required for the major.)

Student Learning Outcomes

Use cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts to inform their understanding of all kinds of texts.

Display analytical skill in their written responses to texts.

Write fluently and understand writing as an artistic and/or intellectual process.

Understand the conventions of literary genre as creative writers and critics.

Capably use research to accomplish their reading, writing, and thinking goals.

Understand the role of emerging digital technologies in writing, literature, and communication.

Draw connections between literature and contemporary society, tracing back the roots of present-day systems of oppression.

Recommended Texts


Moreno-Garcia, Silvia. Mexican Gothic. Del Ray; 1st Edition (2020), ISBN-10 : 0525620788

Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue Edition (2016), ISBN-10 : 0393352560

Highly Recommended: 

(I’ll be providing free online options, but I expect a lot of you will want physical texts anyway)

Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Bantam (1983),  ISBN-10 : 0553211404

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Edited by Dr. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. Simon & Schuster (2012), ISBN13: 9781451669411

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein: or `The Modern Prometheus’: The 1818 Text. Ed. by Nick Groom. Oxford World’s Classics, 3rd Edition (2020),  ISBN-10 : 0198840829


If you’re feeling anxious about academic or literary writing, I suggest

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Brikenstein. They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. Fourth Edition. Norton (2018); ISBN: 978-0-393-63167-8

Course Modality

This course will be hybrid, composed of in-person synchronous class sessions (in Rounds 303 during our regularly scheduled class time) and required asynchronous assignments. If for whatever reason you cannot attend class in person, the synchronous sessions will be accompanied by live video-chats on Teams. You are welcome to use Teams chat in class, whether you are attending in person or remotely.

Participation in Teams sessions is optional, as are microphone and camera use. Come as you are, participate as you’d like! We’ll devote significant time on Jan 20 to discussing WordPress, our digital platform for the course.

Lectures or other class meetings for this course may be recorded by the university using USNH media platforms. (You can find these videos in Teams). Such recordings may be available for educational use by other students enrolled in the class (including both for instruction and as a review tool), the course instructor(s), and other university officials who support course instruction. Your voice or image may be captured on the recordings, and by enrolling in this course you are consenting to such recording for these purposes.

If you’d like to not be recorded during segments of our synchronous sessions where such recording occurs, you’re free to turn off your microphone and camera during these sessions. If you have additional privacy concerns, please let me know.

Week 1 of Class

Tuesday, January 18: Class Introductions, Syllabus Discussion, and course tech overview (WordPress and Canvas workshop); introductory discussion of Intersectionality and Literature. No Posts due this week.

For Weeks 1-16, visit the EN 2490 Course Schedule page.