This Fall (2017) I'm offering three courses: EN318 / Dating and Relationships in 18th c. British Literature," EN200 / Foundations of Literary Studies, and EN120 / Styles of Persuasion. Course descriptions appear below. If you have any questions about these courses, feel free to contact me at my Colby dot edu address.

 

EN318 / Dating and Relationships in Eighteenth-Century British Literature

“The Tete a Tete,” from “Marriage a la Mode,” William Hogarth (oil on canvas)(1743)

“The Tete a Tete,” from “Marriage a la Mode,” William Hogarth (oil on canvas)(1743)

How “modern” is the modern romantic relationship? This course explores how dating and courtship, marriage and divorce, and affairs and flings have long complicated politics and social relations in Britain. We will focus on relationships represented in the literature and cultural history of Britain from roughly 1740 to 1815, including narratives of “British” relationships tested by the French and American revolutions. Topics include long-distance relationships, gender roles and expectations in courtship, the impact of matrimonial law on social relations, and the implications of inter-class and interracial relationships.

 

EN200 / Foundations of Literary Studies

From William Clark, “Ten Views of Antigua” (1823)

From William Clark, “Ten Views of Antigua” (1823)

This course focuses on how to do literary studies, and why to do it in the first place. We will cover both “concrete”—that is, how to do it in practice—and theoretical aspects of methodology, genre, canonicity, periodization, form, medium, and other heuristic and historical categories of analysis. In so doing we will read texts across genres—prose fiction, poetry, drama, essays, etc.—across national literary traditions, and across historical periods. Writing, close reading, and discussion—particularly in relation to disciplinary and methodological standards in literary studies—are foundational elements of this course.

 

EN120 / Styles of Persuasion

Master persuaders Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (also, Drogon the dragon)

Master persuaders Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (also, Drogon the dragon)

This writing-intensive course focuses on the various strategies writers of both fiction and nonfiction use to persuade an audience. To evaluate such strategies, and to discover what they can teach us about our own writing projects for college coursework and beyond, we will read a range of political and personal essays, scholarly essays, short fiction, and poetry. We will focus on the relationship between attentive reading and persuasive writing, with the central goals of developing skill sets and critical vocabularies for both, and of sharpening the analytical acumen that persuasion demands.