Spring 2010

HUMS 634
Enlightenment to Modernism: British Literature, 1780-1914

Weiner,Stephanie Kuduk

01/25/2010 - 05/07/2010
Thursday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Downey 100

This course offers an introduction to modern British literature and culture, with an emphasis on the ways in which literary form responds to and shapes the movements of history. We begin with the emergence in the late 18th century of two new literary forms with substantial debts to the Enlightenment--the novel and Romantic poetry--and trace the development of these genres in the hands of later writers, from George Eliot's panoramic depiction of a small city at a moment of profound historical, social, and economic transformation to E. M. Forster's portrait of two sisters who exemplify a country caught between its ideals and the reality it has made for itself; from Robert Browning's repudiation of Romantic confession to Oscar Wilde's definition of art as artifice, or "lying." Central themes include changing concepts of personhood; the relation between science, nature, and faith; the politics of class and gender; the tension between the language of everyday life and the language of literature; and the role of art in a rapidly changing, chaotic, and often exhilarating modern world.

Readings for this course will include Jane Austen, Emma; George Eliot, MiddleMarch; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles; poems by William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Shelley, Alfred Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Oscar Wilde, and others; works by David Hume, John Locke, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, and Walter Pater.

Grades will be based on ten very short response papers and a final essay.

Course tuition: $2022.

Enrollment is limited to 18 students. This class is open to auditors.

For the first class meeting, students should have read the readings assigned for the first class meeting, which are listed on the class syllabus.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Stephanie Weiner (B.A., University of Minnesota; Ph.D., Stanford University) is associate professor of English. In 2010 she was awarded the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in teaching. She teaches courses in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, romantic and Victorian poetry, aesthetics and art history, and poetry and poetics. She is the author of Republican Politics and English Poetry, 1789-1874 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), and Clare's Lyric: John Clare and Three Modern Poets (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Click here for more information about Stephanie Weiner.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Greenblatt, ed. NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE (Norton) paperback


Register for Courses

Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459