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8:6500 Social Class and Victorian Literature

TTH 6:30-7:45, 218 English-Philosophy Building

Instructor: Florence Boos;
Office: 319 EPB, office phone 335-0434 (answering machine)

Office hours: 
Tuesdays/Thursdays 5:00-6:15 p. m.; Wednesday and Friday afternoons by appointment; after class until 8:30 p. m.

Course Information and Assignments

Textbooks (at UI Bookstore or from handouts)

Smith, Mary, The Autobiography of Mary Smith
Simmons, James, ed., Factory Lives
Gaskell, Elizabeth, North and South
Disraeli, Benjamin, Sybil
Thackeray, William Makepeace, Vanity Fair
Kingsley, Charles, Alton Locke
Brontë, Emily, Wuthering Heights
Eliot, George, Adam Bede
Gissing, George, The Nether World
Zangwill, Israel, The Children of the Ghetto
Conrad, Joseph, Lord Jim

For poetry, I will hand out copies of Chartist and dialect poems, relevant poetry by Thomas Hood, Eliza Cook, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and William Morris’s “The Pilgrims of Hope.” For prose, I will provide handouts of Mary Smith’s Autobiography and of selections from Karl Marx, Eleanor Marx, Frederic Jameson, Raymond Williams, William Morris, John A. Hobson, and if needed, Matthew Arnold, John Ruskin, and Friedrich Engels.  

Course Requirements:

contributions to class discussion: please read the assignments carefully and come prepared for class discussion with questions and comments on important or unusual features of the text.

biographical background reports, leading of discussion: I will ask students to prepare information on two or more authors or texts and lead class discussions on some of our selections.
summaries of criticism: students will also be asked to report on a critical chapter related to the class assignment.

journal/reading responses: please prepare 7 reading responses, the equivalent of two double-spaced typed pages each, to be posted on Icon so that your fellow students may read them. Of the seven, at least three should comment on or reply to a posting by one of your fellow students, and at least half should respond to or incorporate prior criticism on the topic. You should print these out at the end of the semester and leave them for me by May 13th.
final essay: In addition to posting these responses to the class web site, you will be asked to write an eighteen-twenty page critical/research paper, to be due along with your Icon postings May 13th, 2016. However you should choose a tentative topic by the end of spring  break. If you give me a first rough draft sometime in early May, I will return it with any suggestions in time for you to make revisions.
final exam equivalent: You will be asked to present a précis of the substance of your essay in class May 10th, 2016.