2016-2017 University Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2016-2017 University Catalog archived

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ENGL 393 - Topics in Literature in English from 1700-1900

Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring

Prerequisite: ENGL 299. Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English from 1700 to 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2016, ENGL 393-01:  Advanced Seminar: The Poet as Hero in Nineteenth-Century England and America (3). Prerequisite: ENGL 299. This course centers on Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the longtime Poet Laureate of Victorian England, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, his contemporary and the virtual laureate of America during the same era.  Not only were these two figures the most popular and revered writers in their respective nations for many decades, but they are among the most technically proficient masters of versification in the English language and demonstrate remarkable adaptability and skill in a variety of challenging forms.  More important, both in their public lives and their narrative poems, Tennyson and Longfellow tapped into their respective nations’ fascination with important culture heroes such as King Arthur and the Native American figure of Hiawatha.  This course frames this focus on poetic achievement and cultural resonance with attention to major prose figures who articulated the ideal of the culture hero, particularly the Englishman Thomas Carlyle and the American Ralph Waldo Emerson, before turning its attention to Tennyson and Longfellow’s rivals and heirs such as Elizabeth and Robert Browning, Swinburne, Whitman, Robinson, and Millay.  It concludes with the tragic finale of the phenomenon of the poet as hero in the writings and career of Oscar Wilde. (HL) Adams.

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