GENG 236: Survey of English Literature II


Dr. Siân White 3 credits

          This course is designed as a survey of British literature from the late eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries. The readings selected are meant to be representative rather than comprehensive. Given the broad scope of such a class, we will narrow our view to approach these works from a narratological standpoint, in terms of voice and its relationship specifically to literary form. Questions we might ask of any one work include: Whose voice is this? What is the voice saying? What is the voice trying to communicate, and to whom? What impact do outside forces, powers or influences have on the voice (including social convention, revolution, industrialism, patriarchy, or colonialism)?  What does the speaker realize or not realize?

          This course will engage students in the practice of literary analysis and close-reading, and challenge them to understand the theme of voice against the backdrop of broader political, social and philosophical developments, paying special attention to the Woman Question, the expansion of Empire, and the challenges of modernity. Related subtopics will include the relationship of poet or author to the speaking voice; associated forms such as the greater Romantic lyric, the epistolary novel, autobiography, and dramatic monologue; patriarchal, feminist, imperial and colonial voices.

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